Labor 2: Labor Relations


Labor Relations -refers to the part of labor law which regulates the relations between employers and workers.

Labor Relations deals with the following issues as provided in Book V of the Labor Code.

  • Labor Organizations
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Grievance machinery
  • Voluntary Arbitration
  • Conciliation and mediation
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Strikes
  • Picketing and lockout

Labor Relations dwells on the broad and dynamic relationship between the employer and the employee, its ramifications and implications insofar as their respective rights and interests are concerned as well as the modes of settling and adjusting differences and disputes.

Labor Relation and Labor Standards, Distinguished

Labor Standards is the part of labor law which prescribes the minimum terms and conditions of employment that the employer is required to grant to its employees.

Interpretation and Application of Labor Laws

The Supreme Court pronounced in the case of Philippines Today, Inc vs NLRC, that courts and quasi-judicial bodies, in the exercise of their functions and in making decisions, must not be too dogmatic as to restrict themselves to literal interpretations of words, phrases, and sentences. A complete and holistic view must be taken in order to render a just and equitable judgment.

Significance of Employer-Employee Relationship in Labor Cases

  • Legal Significance – The existence of the Employer-employee relationship is essential in labor relations for, without it, there can be no legal basis for organizing in order to be able to bargain collectively. More significantly, employer-employee relationship is the jurisdictional basis for recovery of claims under the law.

Kinds of Employees

  • Managerial Employee – is one who is vested with the powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees.
  • Supervisory Employee – is one who, in the interest of the employer, effectively recommends managerial actions and the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical but requires the use of independent judgment.
  • Rank-and-File Employee is one who does not fall within any of the above definitions for purposes of labor relations under Book V of the Labor Code. This term refers to an employee whose functions are neither managerial nor supervisory in nature.

Employees who ceased to work but are still deemed employees

the general rule is that a person who ceased to work is no longer to be considered as an employee, as this term is understood in law except;

  • An employee whose work has ceased as a result of, or in connection with, unfair labor practice committed by the employer if the said employee has not obtained any other substantially equivalent and regular employment.
  • An employee who has been dismissed from work but has contested the legality of the dismissal in a forum of appropriate jurisdiction at the time of the issuance of the order.
  • Participation of an employee is a strike, whether staged by reason of unfair labor practice or economic demands, does not have the effect of depriving him of his status as an employee.

Substantial equivalent and regular employment, defined.

  • The phrase “substantially equivalent and regular employment” does not refer to the amount of compensation which such employee receives from his new employer. It refers to his new job which should be similar to his work at the time of his dismissal. This holds true even if the employee receives a higher salary in his new employment.


  • The singular basis for the exercise of jurisdiction by labor officials and tribunals is the existence of labor or industrial disputes. if the dispute is not labor in character, jurisdiction belongs to the regular courts or to other fora.
  • Jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters
    • Unfair Labor Practice cases;
    • Termination dispute;
    • Claims of Reinstatement;
    • Wages, Rate of Pay, and hours of work;
    • Terms and condition of employment;
    • Damages;
    • Illegal Strikes and lockouts;
  • Jurisdiction of the Commission;
    • Exclusive Appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by the Labor Arbiters;

Labor and Industrial Disputes

  • Labor and Industrial Disputes includes any controversy or matters concerning terms and conditions of employment or the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging the terms and conditions of employment, regardless whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employees.

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