Forced Resignation Philippines

A dismayed employee experiencing Force Resignation Philippines.

What is a Forced Resignation in the Philippines?

 

A Forced Resignation is also called Constructive Dismissal and happens when an employee resigns because of a diminution or a hostile workplace.

Legally, it is defined in case law as a resignation when “…continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution of pay and other benefits…”

This situation is also sometimes called Involuntary Resignation.

 

One factor that could lead employees to Force Resignation Philippines is when stress is intolerable.
Resignation is an important decision that you will likely make once in your life.

 

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • How to prove Forced Resignation in the Philippines
  • Forced Resignation and a Resignation Letter in several sections
  • Forced Resignation and a Quit Claim
  • What happens if you were coerced or forced to sign a Resignation Letter

As you will see so much depends on the situation – whether you have a Quit Claim, a Resignation Letter or other document will always be considered with all the other facts.

I’ll show you what I mean – let’s start

Is a Forced Resignation in the Philippines legal?

 

No, a Forced Resignation in the Philippines is not legal.

Forced Resignation or Constructive Dismissal – along with Illegal Termination – is a case that is frequently brought to court.

Employees that is throwing boxes with negative words about work stress are triggered to Force Resignation Philippines.
Some companies intentionally make work unbearable forcing employees to quit and this is considered illegal dismissal.

This is due to the concept of Security of Tenure.

Initially, an employee can file at the DOLE.

The case then progresses through SEnA and Labor Arbitrar. It then may go to the NLRC commission, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

Before you file a case for Involuntary Resignation or call your Labor Lawyer, first consider if you are really committed towards it.

Forced Resignation Philippines: Timeline

 

An employee is distressed about his filed Force Resignation Philippines how many years ago.
Illegal dismissal can be done either directly or by making your job intolerable.

 

·         SEnA, Labor Arbitrar and NLRC can take a year or more.

·         Court of Appeals can take several years

·         Supreme Court can take several years

You might be looking at about 15 years to finish a Labor Case.

Are you prepared to commit that much time and effort?

Forced Resignation Philippines: Cost

 

Filing is cheap but actually continuing it all the way can get very expensive.

And although you might ask that the one of the awards be Attorney’s fees, that is only granted in specific situations.

The reason is it takes so much time for a Philippine Attorney to examine the proof and devote a lot of time towards making the correct argument.

 

Filing a labor case could burn you out because it's time-consuming.
It is the time-consumed that makes it really expensive.

 

(Especially if he does it well, it takes time and experience and thinking to litigate well.)

You can end up spending hundreds of thousands of pesos – and you are not sure if your Labor case will be granted.

If you are still looking at filing a Labor case, we’ll discuss how to prove Forced Resignation, the Resignation Letter, Quit Claims and other things that you should know

What is the difference between a Resignation and Forced Resignation in the Philippines?

 

A resignation is a voluntary separation by the employee while a forced resignation is one where a hostile company situation essentially forced a resignation.

Since we are Labor Lawyers, let’s quote case law on this:

 

Employee discussing under pressure to her uneased employees inside the meeting office.
Forced resignation is when an employer attempts to end a relationship with an employee for various reasons.

 

Resignation is: “…the voluntary act of an employee who is in a situation where one believes that personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service, and one has no other choice but to dissociate oneself from employment…”

So, Resignation is really very different from how we defined Forced Resignation up top.

The key here is that Resignation is voluntary.

The resignation also is due to personal reasons – nothing to do with the company workplace or with pay, benefits or rank.

On the other hand, Forced or Involuntary Resignation is involuntary and due to company actions.

This is a fine distinction and can be difficult to prove when it comes to a Labor Case. 

How do you prove Forced Resignation in the Philippines?

 

To prove forced resignation, the employee must prove he was forced to resign due to the circumstances and the employer must be unable to prove that this dismissal was for a just/authorized cause.

 

A confused employee explained her side to her comforting supervisor about her notice of termination.
A due process related to the termination of employment is the employee’s right to be informed of the reasons.

 

So, the employee must show that any reasonable person would have resigned.

This might happen if the employer threatens or somehow coerces an employee to resign.

This might have been due to a hostile workplace.

This may also happen when there was demotion or a diminution of wages.

Forced Resignations such as this are called Constructive Dismissal – or dismissal in disguise.

This is something that the employee has to prove with evidence – because if he cannot prove there were bad working conditions or he was forced to resign, then there is no reason for a court case.

If the employee proves that fact of his dismissal, the employer must now prove that that was for a Just or Authorized cause.

Let’s take a look at a Constructive Dismissal case, so you can see how this plays out in real life.

In G.R. 221411, Juraldine alleged that he resigned because management stated that there were upcoming retrenchments due to business losses.

Juraldine was also informed he would receive Php 170,000 if he resigned whereas if he was terminated, he may receive nothing.

Due to this, Juraldine resigned. He was paid only P26,901.34.

He brought the case to court.

However, the company he worked for said that Juraldine had resigned voluntarily and had been looking for a seaman’s job. Juraldine had also signed a waiver and a quit claim with the computation shown to him.

The Court said, “…even a cursory perusal of the evidence on record would show that Juraldine failed to prove the fact of dismissal…”

 

An employee is crying due to the fact that she had no choice but to resign because of her employer's given condition.
Forced or coerced resignation is considered a “Constructive” Dismissal or simply a conditional termination.

 

In Constructive Dismissal cases, an employee must prepare substantial evidence to show that there was a dismissal.

Juraldine did not prepare enough evidence (which really must be done with a good Labor Lawyer because good evidence is very time-consuming to do well).

Because of this, Juraldine did not win the case.

Is there Forced Resignation if there is a Resignation Letter?

 

There can be Forced Resignation even if there was a Resignation Letter – but it will depend on the circumstances.

In GR 229881, Jonald Torreda signed a Resignation Letter and separated from the Investment and Capital Corporation of the Philippines. He then immediately filed a case.

 

An employee drafting his letter of resignation
It is an unfair dismissal if the employee tendered the notice of resignation as termination of employment at its initiative.

 

Was there Involuntary Resignation even with the Resignation Letter?

The Court said yes.

The Court considered his actions before and after the resignation should be considered, not just the Resignation Letter.

The Court said that before the resignation, there was no evidence to prove Jonald intended to resign – his only agenda on the day he resigned was to discuss his projects with management.

Because there was no indication he intended to resign, the Court ruled in favor of Jonald.

Sometimes a lawyer will discuss words of courtesy and how it affects how a Court views a resignation letter.

Do words of courtesy show that a resignation letter is valid?

Words of gratitude may or may not invalidate a Resignation Letter – so much still depends on the other evidence.

For instance, in Jonald’s case, he allegedly edited the Resignation letter to include words of gratitude.

But because all the evidence pointed to the fact that there was no intent to resign, the Court stated that words of gratitude did not invalidate it.

 

An employer marking the 30th day of November month.
You must give one month’s advanced written notice so that your employer can find a replacement for you.

 

However, there are other cases that show that words of gratitude were considered by the court as proof that the employee meant to resign.

In GR 206316, employee Peckson filed 2 resignation letters, completed the exit procedure, the signing of a quitclaim and release, and the 2 years of delay before he filed a case.

The Court mentions the resignation letter and the feelings it contains in the Decision.

The Court states “… very contents of the letters show not only any lack of reluctance or tension on the part of Peckson, but in fact express gratitude and well wishes, without qualification, nor do they show any sign of aggression, bitterness, or hostility towards his former employer.”

It is one of the proofs the Court cites in showing that there was no Involuntary Resignation.

As you can see, it comes down to all the evidence.

Determining the best way to present the evidence and looking through all the evidence is the job of a Labor Lawyer – that is why you hire him.

 

Employee seeking help of a labor lawyer
If you have a harsh, hostile and unfavorable dismissal from your employer, get the best labor lawyer.

 

What happens if I was forced to sign a Resignation Letter?

 

An employee who says he was forced to sign a Resignation letter by Coercion or threat must show that he was coerced.

For Coercion to exist, there must be the following elements as cited in G.R. No. 215627:

  • that the intimidation caused the consent to be given
  • that the threatened act be unjust or unlawful
  • that the threat be real or serious, there being evident disproportion between the evil and the resistance which all men can offer, leading to the choice of doing the act which is forced on the person to do as the lesser evil; and
  • that it produces a well-grounded fear from the fact that the person from whom it comes has the necessary means or ability to inflict the threatened injury to his person or property.

 

A pressured employee asking for a help.
Dirty politics in a company is often a reason of a forced resignation of an employee.

 

 

If these are not present in the situation, then the Court will not say that the employee was forced to resign.

In GR 215627, the Court looked at the situation in depth.

The Court said that these elements were missing and that the employee had voluntarily resigned.

The Court listed all the company’s evidence and showed how unlikely the employee’s claim was. It included a Quit Claim, a Letter of Intent to purchase a company vehicle, a Resignation Letter as well as other documents.

In addition, he met with the HR manager to continue processing his separation outside the company premises – where she was very unlikely to coerce him to sign the remaining documents all by herself.

 

A 30 days rendering period is required prior to the approved letter of resignation.
There are many supreme court jurisprudence that shed light on these cases.

 

These – and many other reasons caused the Court to state that the employee had voluntarily resigned.

Is there Forced Resignation if there was a Quit Claim?

 

It is possible to file a case for Involuntary Resignation even if there is a Quit Claim in specific situations.

The Court will only uphold a Quit Claim if:

  • the employee executes a deed of quitclaim voluntarily;
  • there is no fraud or deceit on the part of any of the parties;
  • the consideration of the quitclaim is credible and reasonable; and
  • the contract is not contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals or goods customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law.

 

The tenured employee is in suffer holding his quit claims documents
Failure to submit a resignation letter may result in liability for damages.

 

This is taken from Case Law (specifically, GR 215627 in this instance).

So, a Quit Claim doesn’t necessarily mean there was no case of Constructive Dismissal – but it must be considered with all the other evidence.

Forced Resignation Philippines: Things to Remember

 

The important thing to remember about Forced Resignations is that if you are filing a case, you will need to commit time and money to it.

In addition, proving that you were constructively dismissed doesn’t just rely on whether or not you have certain documents.

As you can see above, an employee may have a resignation letter or a quit claim or whatever else – the court may still decide in his favor.

So much depends on all the evidence taken together.

Also, there are many grounds for filing this type of Labor Case.

 

An employee is forced to resign taking her valuables and leaving the office assets.
Surrender all the company property in your possession for you to obtain work clearance.

 

Grounds for Forced Resignation Philippines

  • there may be a reduction in pay, benefits or rank or Diminution
  • there was coercion in resigning
  • there was a hostile environment

As you have seen above, things like Coercion have very technical requirements – there are specific things that must be present for someone to say he was coerced.

Only a Labor Lawyer can filter through the evidence so that he can present the information correctly because it is so technical.

Still, he will rely on your detailed story, proof and documents to make your pleadings.

Be upfront with your lawyer, and be throughout and detailed so that your case is in the strongest position it can be.

Leave a Reply

Helping Filipinos find answers to
their Legal Questions

Contact

Legal information for
Filipinos locally and
abroad.

A lower case f on a transparent background as A Better Consult can be found on FacebookFacebook

A white post box on a transparent background as A Better Consult is on emailEmail