Here is the Frequently Asked Questions for cases filed before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
The Labor Arbiter shall summon the parties to a conference within two days from receipt of an assigned case.The purpose of the conference is either to:
· amicably settle the dispute;
· determine the real parties in interest;
· define and simplify the issues of the case;
· enter into admissions and/or stipulations of facts; and
thresh out preliminary matters. (Sec. 2, Rule 5, NLRC Rules as Amended)
Number of conferences allowed
The number of conferences shall not exceed three (3) settings and shall be terminated within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the first conference.
No motion for postponement shall be entertained. Non-appearance of the complainant/s during the scheduled hearings for mediation/conciliation conference shall be a ground for the dismissal of the case without prejudice.
In case of non-appearance of the respondent/s during the first conference, a second conference shall proceed. Non-appearance of the respondent/s during the second conference shall immediately terminate the mandatory conciliation/mediation conference. The complainant/s shall thereupon be allowed to file his position paper as well as submit evidence in support of his cause or causes of action after which, the labor arbiter shall render his decision on the basis of the evidence on record. (Sec. 2, Rule 5, NLRC Rules as Amended)
When to submit position papers/ memorandum
If, during the conferences, the parties fail to agree upon an amicable settlement, either in whole or in part, the Labor Arbiter shall issue an order directing the parties to simultaneously file their respective verified position papers, with the supporting documents and affidavits within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date of the last conference, with proof of having furnished each other with the copies thereof.
The verified position papers shall cover only those claims and causes of action raised in the complaint excluding those that may have been amicably settled.
When is a hearing necessary or not?
If there is a need for a hearing, the Labor Arbiter shall issue an order setting the date or dates for said hearing which shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from initial hearing. However, if he finds no necessity for further hearing after the parties have submitted their position papers and supporting documents, he shall issue an Order to that effect and inform the parties. The Arbiter shall render his decision in the case within ninety (90) days.
The Labor Arbiter determines the necessity of a hearing
As soon as the parties have submitted their position papers/memorandum, the Labor Arbiter shall, motu propio, determine whether there is a need for a formal trial or hearing. The Labor Arbiter may, at his discretion, ask clarificatory questions to further elicit facts or information, including but not limited to the subpoena of relevant documentary evidence from any party or witness.
When will the Labor Arbiter render decision?
The Arbiter shall render his decision within thirty (30) calendar days, without extension, after the submission of the case by the parties for resolution, even in the absence of stenographic notes, provided however that cases involving Overseas Filipino Workers shall be decided within ninety (90) calendar days after the filing of the complaint which shall be deemed perfected upon acquisition by the labor arbiter of jurisdiction over the respondent/s. (Sec. 5, Rule 5, NLRC Rules as Amended)
May the Labor Arbiter conciliate disputes?
Yes. At any stage of the proceedings in all cases, the Arbiter shall exert all efforts and take positive steps toward resolving the dispute through conciliation.
What is an appeal in compulsory arbitration?
When an aggrieved party is not satisfied with the decision, order or award of the Labor Arbiter, POEA Administrator or DOLE Regional Director or his duly authorized hearing officer, the decision, award or order may be elevated to the Commission Proper upon grounds provided by law.
What is the period of appeal?
Within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of such decisions, awards or orders of the Labor Arbiter or of the POEA Administrator. In case of a decision of the Regional Director or his duly authorized hearing officer, the appeal may be filed within five (5) calendar days from receipt of such decisions, awards or orders.
What are the other requisites for the perfection of an appeal?
· The appeal should be under oath.
· Proof of payment of appeal fee.
· Proof of posting of a cash or surety bond.
· Must be accompanied by a memorandum of appeal which shall state the grounds relied upon and the supporting arguments.
· A statement of the date when the appellant received the appealed decision or award.
Proof of service on the other party of such appeal.
When is a bond required in an appeal?
In case the decision of the Labor Arbiter, POEA Administrator and DOLE Regional Director or his duly authorized hearing officer involves monetary award.
How many copies of the appeal must be submitted and where does one file an appeal?
The appeal, in five (5) legibly typewritten copies, may be filed with the respective Regional Arbitration Branch, the DOLE Regional Office or the POEA, where the case was heard and decided.
Can an appeal for decisions involving monetary award be perfected without posting a bond?
An appeal by the employer shall be perfected only upon posting of a cash or surety bond issued by a reputable bonding company duly accredited by the Commission or the Supreme Court in an amount equivalent to the monetary award.
What is the period to resolve the appeal?
The appeal from the decision, order or reward of the Labor Arbiter and POEA Administrator shall be resolved by the Commission within 20 calendar days from receipt of the answer of the appellee or upon the filing of the last pleading or memorandum.
In case of an appeal from the decision of the DOLE Regional Director or his duly authorized hearing officer, it shall be resolved within 10 calendar days.