Termination blog series 1 of 4 (Just Causes 2)
articles of the entire series is available here
Strumming in pain with my fingers, singing a note out of tune
Killing you softly with my song, killing you softly with my song
Telling my whole life in bad rhymes, killing you softly with my song.
As promised, we are embarking on a blog series about termination. My objective is to add value by educating employees to protect their jobs, line managers and business owners to be guided on how to discipline and eventually terminate an employee.
This article will discuss how employees’ little acts can kill them softly.
Employees may be unaware, or they take these little things lightly, thus, overtime, these little acts can cost them their job. While employees have the right to security of tenure, the company also have its own rights and prerogatives for profitable operations
Lets answer the question, what acts can to lead to ‘eventual’ termination?
Generally speaking, termination of employment can be triggered by the employees own doing or by other factors aside from himself. Termination of employment by our own doing, is also known as “just causes” (Art.
282 297 of the Labor Code). On the other hand, losing your job because of other factors aside from yourself is also known as “authorized causes” (Art. 283-284 298-299 of the Phil. Labor Code).
For purposes of this discussion, let us limit our focus on the “just causes”. Employees can do certain acts that can cause immediate termination, or as a result of a series of acts, overtime this can also lead to termination. And on this post, we shall focus on small acts that overtime, can serve as bases for your company to say “adios”.
To avoid termination for just causes, you have to know these, they can be your ally or your nightmare:
- Your company hand book or code of conduct
282*297 of the Philippine Labor Code
Handbook or Code of Conduct
As an employee, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to know and understand your company hand book or code of conduct. This material spells out your organizations’ disciplinary system, process, the offenses and corresponding sanction. The company handbook or code of conduct, normally, are reflective of the provisions of the labor code and other related laws. In the absence of a company handbook or code of conduct, direct provisions of the labor code applies.
282 *297 of the Phil. Labor Code
282*297. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:
- Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;
- Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
- Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;
- Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and
- Other causes analogous to the foregoing.
What are the series of acts that may lead to termination overtime?
NOTE: Depending on the effect to life and property of the infractions enumerated below, termination can also be immediate.
- Willful disobedience– also called insubordination. This is your “deliberate refusal” to follow verbal or written “work related orders” (emphasis on work related)
- Habitual neglect–also known as negligence, this is your “failure to observe” (whether by commission or omission) established guidelines, practices, written rules and procedures intended to ensure safe, healthy and secure work environment, promote decorum and harness productivity. This may include but not limited to the following:
- habitual absences and tardiness
- improper and/or unauthorized use of company facilities, properties or equipment, i.e. blogging at work if this is prohibited.
- sleeping while on duty
- fighting or instigating a fight
- customer complaint
- smoking on prohibited areas
- poor performance
- Fraud, willful breach or loss of trust– this provision is applicable to employees of trust such as cashiers or tellers, treasury, accounting, warehouse and hr people, supervisors, managers and other company officers.
- consistent and unexplained cash shortages regardless of the amount may be a basis for loss of trust
- mishandling of confidential documents and information, such as 201 file, or wrong posting of financial report or any report may also be a basis for loss of trust.
- blogging about inside issues and/or personalities in your company
To be precise, review your company hand book or code of conduct (same as company rules and regulations or code of discipline). Please take note of the following:
- the offense, frequency vis-a-vis the sanction
- the prescription period of each offense
- the provision on habitual delinquency
Please note further, that before a termination or any disciplinary action is implemented, due process of law must be accorded to any employee. This, however, shall be discussed on the last part of this blog series.
For readers outside the Philippines, please check your country’s labor code and relevant laws.
* renumbered articles of the labor code (download your copy)