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National Labor Relations Commission

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National Labor Relations Commission

1. Summary

  • The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) has original and exclusive jurisdiction of certain labor cases.
  • There are requirements to perfect an NLC appeal.

2. Concept

The NLRC is “is a quasi-judicial body tasked to promote and maintain industrial peace by resolving labor and management disputes involving both local and overseas workers through compulsory arbitration and alternative modes of dispute resolution. It is attached to the Department of Labor and Employment for program and policy coordination.” (Mandate of the NLRC, About Us Page, NLRC Official Website)

3. NLRC Jurisdiction

a. Original and exclusive jurisdiction of the NLRC

The NLRC has original and exclusive jurisdiction for the following cases:

1) Certified cases for compulsory arbitration – in relation to DOLE Secretary’s assumption of jurisdiction (Article 278 [263] (g), Labor Code);

2) Extraordinary remedies via a verified petition to annul or modify the order or resolution of the Labor Arbiter (Section 1, Rule XII, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended);

3) Petition for Injunction in labor cases (Article 225 [218] (e), Labor Code); and,

4) Contempt cases. (Article 225 [218] (d), Ibid.)

b. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the NLRC

The NLRC has exclusive appellate jurisdiction for the following cases:

1) Cases on monetary claims resolved/decided by the DOLE Regional Director, except those arising from the visitorial and enforcement powers of the DOLE Secretary (Article 129, Ibid.)

2) Cases decided by the Labor Arbiter (Section 1, Rule V, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended)

3) 3rd party claim – a third party may file a third-party claim with the sheriff of the Labor Arbiter, and if the third-party claim is denied, the third party may appeal the denial to the NLRC. (Yupangco Cotton Mills, Inc v. Mendoza, G.R. No. 139912, 31 March 2005)

4. Requirements to perfect an NLRC appeal

To perfect an NLRC appeal, the following must be complied:

1) The Memorandum of Appeal must be filed within the reglementary period, i.e. within 10 days from receipt of the decision/award/order by the Labor Arbiter’s, or within 5 days from receipt of the decisions/resolutions by the DOLE Regional Director;

2) The appeal must be verified by the appellant;

3) The format of the Memorandum of Appeal should state: (a) grounds, (b) arguments, (c) relief prayed for, (d) date of receipt of appealed decision, award or order;

4) The appeal should be prepared in 3 legible typewritten or printed copies;

5) Proof of payment of appeal fee and legal research fee;

6) Posting of a cash or surety bond, if applicable for employers; and

7) Proof of service upon the other parties. (Section 4, Rule VI, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended)

a. Grounds for appeal

The following are the grounds for appeal:

1) If there is a prima facie evidence of abuse of discretion on the part of the Labor Arbiter or Regional Director;

2) If the decision/award/order was secured through fraud or coercion, including graft and corruption;

3) If made purely on questions of law; and/or

4) If serious errors in the findings of facts are raised which if not corrected, would cause grave or irreparable damage or injury to the appellant. (Section 2, Rule VI, Ibid.)

b. Venue

The appeal shall be filed with the Regional Arbitration Branch or Regional Office where the case was heard and decided. (Section 3, Rule VI, Ibid.)

c. Bond

If the employer appeals a Labor Arbiter’s Decision which requires payment of monetary claims, a bond shall be required to be paid on/before the filing of the appeal.

An appeal by the employee does not generally require a bond.

GENERAL RULE: No motion to reduce

In case the decision of the Labor Arbiter or the Regional Director involves a monetary award, an appeal by the employer may be perfected only upon the posting of a bond, which shall either be in the form of cash deposit or surety bond in an amount equivalent to the monetary award, exclusive of damages and attorney’s fees. (Paragraph 1, Section 6, Rule VI, Ibid.)

No motion to reduce bond shall be entertained except on meritorious grounds, and only upon the posting of a bond in a reasonable amount in relation to the monetary award. (Paragraph 6, Section 6, Rule VI, Ibid.)

EXCEPTIONS: When reducing bond is allowed

The mere filing of a motion to reduce bond without complying with the requisites in the preceding paragraphs shall not stop the running of the period to perfect an appeal. (Last paragraph, Section 6, Rule VI, Ibid.)

The filing of a motion to reduce appeal bond shall be entertained by the NLRC subject to the following conditions: (1) there is meritorious ground; and (2) a bond in a reasonable amount is posted. (McBurnie v. Ganzon, G.R. Nos. 178034, 178117, 186984-85, 17 October 2013)

For purposes of compliance with condition no. (2), a motion shall be accompanied by the posting of a provisional cash or surety bond equivalent to ten percent (10,) of the monetary award subject of the appeal, exclusive of damages and attorney’s fees. (Ibid.)

Compliance with the foregoing conditions shall suffice to suspend the running of the 1 0-day reglementary period to perfect an appeal from the labor arbiter’s decision to the NLRC. (Ibid.)

The NLRC retains its authority and duty to resolve the motion to reduce bond and determine the final amount of bond that shall be posted by the appellant, still in accordance with the standards of meritorious grounds and reasonable amount. (Ibid.)

In the event that the NLRC denies the motion to reduce bond, or requires a bond that exceeds the amount of the provisional bond, the appellant shall be given a fresh period of ten (10) days from notice of the NLRC order within which to perfect the appeal by posting the required appeal bond. (Ibid.)

1) Meritorious grounds

By jurisprudence, the merit referred to may pertain to an appellant’s lack of financial capability to pay the full amount of the bond, the merits of the main appeal such as when there is a valid claim that there was no illegal dismissal to justify the award, the absence of an employer-employee relationship, prescription of claims, and other similarly valid issues that are raised in the appeal. For the purpose of determining a “meritorious ground”, the NLRC is not precluded from receiving evidence, or from making a preliminary determination of the merits of the appellant’s contentions. (Ibid.)

2) 10% as reasonable amount

All motions to reduce bond that are to be filed with the NLRC shall be accompanied by the posting of a cash or surety bond equivalent to 10% of the monetary award that is subject of the appeal, which shall provisionally be deemed the reasonable amount of the bond in the meantime that an appellant’s motion is pending resolution by the Commission. (Ibid.)

In conformity with the NLRC Rules, the monetary award, for the purpose of computing the necessary appeal bond, shall exclude damages and attorney’s fees. Only after the posting of a bond in the required percentage shall an appellant’s period to perfect an appeal under the NLRC Rules be deemed suspended. (Ibid.)

5. Effects of perfecting an NLRC appeal

Without prejudice to immediate reinstatement pending appeal, once an appeal is filed, the Labor Arbiter loses jurisdiction over the case. All pleadings and motions pertaining to the appealed case shall thereafter be addressed to and filed with the NLRC. (Section 9, Rule VI, 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended)

The perfection of an appeal stays the execution of the decision of the Labor Arbiter, except execution for reinstatement pending appeal. (Section 3, Rule XI, Ibid.)

Reference

  • 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended
  • Jurisprudence or Supreme Court Decisions
  • NLRC Official Website
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