Substantive Due Process

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  • P.D. 442, as amended, is the basis for substantive due process.
  • Substantive due process is divided into just causes or authorized causes.
  • Just causes are grounds for termination of employment.
  • Authorized causes are grounds for separation from employment.
  • If there is no substantive due process, i.e. no just cause or authorized cause, the employer may be held liable for illegal dismissal.

Legal basis

The legal basis is the P.D. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code, which implemented the constitutional provision on security of tenure.

Concept

“At its core, substantive due process guarantees a right to liberty that cannot be taken away or unduly constricted, except through valid causes provided in the law.” (Brown Madonna Press, Inc. v. Cabangon, G.R. No. 200898, 15 June 2015)

Divided into two: just causes and authorized causes

Substantive due process is divided into two, namely: (a) just causes and authorized causes.

Just causes

Just causes are grounds for termination of employment.

It is called just causes because the termination of employment is justified due to an employee’s actions, behavior, or omission, either of which resulted in a serious or grave violation of the law, employment contract, company policies, collective bargaining agreement, and any other employment agreement.

In these situations, and in the exercise of its management prerogative, the employer is justified in imposing the penalty of dismissal on the erring employee.

Authorized causes

Authorized causes are grounds for separation of employment.

It is called authorized causes because the separation from employment is justified due to a legitimate business reason or a requirement by law or regulations.

In these situations, and in the exercise of its management prerogative, the employer is justified letting go of the employee who is not at fault and thus given a separation pay.

For more detailed discussions, refer to Authorized Causes.

Consequence if no substantive due process

If there is no substantive due process, such as there is no just cause or authorized cause, in the termination or separation from employment of an employee, the employer may be held liable for illegal dismissal.

Illegal dismissal may result in the employer being held liable for full backwages, reinstatement, moral damages, exemplary damages, monetary claims, attorney’s fees.

For more detailed discussions, refer to Illegal Dismissal.

References

  • 1987 Constitution
  • Presidential Decree No. 442, a.k.a. Labor Code
  • DOLE Department Order No. 147, Series of 2015
  • Jurisprudence or Supreme Court Decisions