Payment of the unexpired part of the employment contract of an OFW

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Dear PAO,

I am a Filipino Overseas Worker (OFW) working as a domestic helper in Taiwan for a period of two years. My employer sent me a warning letter for possible dismissal citing grounds that I disagree with as they are false and unfounded. If my employer decides to fire me without having completed the term of the contract and the court later finds that the dismissal was illegal, will I be entitled to payment of the unexpired part of my employment contract?

Joybi

Dear Joybi,

The answer to your question can be found in the Cuartocruz vs Active Works, Inc. case (GR 209072, July 24, 2019, Ponente: Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza).

In the said case, the Supreme Court ruled that the conditional clause “of three months for each year of the unexpired term [of the employment contract], the lower of the two “in Article 10 of the Law of the Republic (RA) 8042 was declared unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection clause and of substantial due process. The Supreme Court explained, citing Serrano v Gallant Maritime Services, Inc. (GR 167614, March 24, 2009, Ponente: Associate Judge Maria Alicia Austria-Martinez), the following:

“Said clause contains a suspicious classification in that, in calculating the monetary benefits of fixed-term employees who are unlawfully dismissed, it imposes a ceiling of three months on the claim of OFWs with an unexpired portion of one year or more in their contracts, but none on the claims of other OFWs or local workers with fixed-term employment. The object clause distinguishes a category of OFW and imposes a particular disadvantage on it. In addition, there is no compelling state interest that the subject matter clause can.So, following Serrano, we declare that the petitioner is entitled to her monthly salary of HK $ 3,400.00, or its equivalent in Philippine peso, for the entire unexpired part of his employment contract. “

Based on the above, being OFW with a fixed-term contract, you are entitled to payment of your salary for the entire unexpired part of your employment contract in the event of unlawful dismissal by your employer.

We hope we have been able to answer your questions. Remember that this advice is based solely on the facts you have reported and our appreciation of them. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or developed.

Editor’s Note: Dear PAO is a daily column for the DA’s office. Questions for Chef Acosta can be sent to [email protected]


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