I would like to ask for your confidential advise for a labor dispute I have filed with NLRC on May 17, 2012, a day after my illegal dismissal took place. I cannot afford a lawyer to defend me so I just brushed up on Philippine labor laws. Do you think that my case is strong enough to stand without a lawyer's assistance?
Just some backgrounders:
I have a recommendation letter and an email from the chief communications officer (and one of the owners of the company) which he wrote just three months prior to this incident. These letters lauded me for good work and also instructs people to make use of my other skills, for possible increase in salary a few months after.
I am a breast cancer survivor and a sole breadwinner to two daughters and my two elderly (unpensioned) parents. While I earn a good salary with my job here, the amount is only enough to provide for all my dependents and pay for all my monthly obligations. I am concerned that this case would render me unpalatable to other companies, but I would like to make the argument that the company forced my hand to file for a labor dispute. I would have gladly accepted a graceful exit package had they offered it to me instead of putting me in a position to beg and resign in the process. They fired me during the enrollment period and told me that my salary will then be put on hold immediately.
Below is the incident report which I have written and sent to myself for record purposes. This is in no way comprehensive, but it does narrate the events that happened on May 16, 2012. There are some more events that took place a few days before and after which will render everything with greater clarity.
I would appreciate your help and advise.
This is to document the conversation that transpired between xxxx and xxxxx, on May 16, 2012, Wednesday, 7:00 PM at the xxxxx Headquarters, xxxxxx
In the morning of May 16, 2011, I received an email from xxx of HR, summoning me to a brief meeting with xxxx at 4:30 in the afternoon of the same day, to which I confirmed attendance. Around 10:30 AM, I left my desk to work at the xxxx showroom. When I went down, xxxx called a meeting with the xxxx digital team, saying that there will be big changes in the team and that someone will be terminated that afternoon. Around the same time, IT and HR had a meeting, starting the process of termination by blocking my network access. Same person also mentioned the termination to the admin office the day before.
5:00 PM I went to the HR office for the meeting. Because I was a little late, I was made to wait until around 7:00PM for my meeting. While waiting, I tried to access my email via wifi and found out I longer had access.
7:00PM – xxxx said he will no longer participate in the meeting and that xxxx will handle it. Upon sitting down for the meeting, xxxx told me that “I guess you have an idea already of why you are here, xxxx” to which I responded, “Yes, I have been seeing the signs.”
Then xxxxx proceeded to tell me that a meeting was held early that week (Tuesday), in which it was decided that it was no longer acceptable for me to work for xxxx for the following reasons:
> That I was not performing to par – specifically mentioning emailers
> That my writing style was not according to the xxxx DNA
> That I was not a team player
> That I delegated most of my tasks to xxx
I then proceeded to just shrug my shoulders and said that I have all the evidence to prove otherwise, but that it was already futile to do so because a judgment has already made. Moreover, it was no longer ideal for me to work under such humiliating conditions.
During this conversation, xxxx repeatedly said that however I feel about all these things, that I should never waste the remaining years of my working life by filing for a labor case. He said this at least 3 times during our entire conversation because he said I will be ruining my career if I file for a case.
xxx also asked me if I was mad at xxx, to which I said why are you asking? I then said I had no anger at the institution but that I felt betrayed and bullied and ganged up and that I felt helpless and that I was here for my daughters.
We then went to discussing the terms of my exit. He said that for compassionate purposes because I have two daughters and that I am the breadwinner, that I should write a nicely-worded letter asking for a severance pay, a request which, xxx said, he will push for and fight to be approved.
I then said that should it not be your job to offer me something and that I know my rights? He said that there was no offer but that I should request for it. I also told him that I have been hearing a lot of things happening HR wise, to which xxx said that more and more professionals are now coming to xxx HR to improve things.
Our meeting ended with xxx reminding me to write the letter asap so that we can have everything cleared by next week. That I will no longer have to be subjected to the humiliation of routing my clearance because HR will be the one to do it for me; that it will take at least 45 days for the clearance to be processed and that my check will be released immediately after that. It ended with xxx asking for my resume so he can endorse me to McCann and other companies and him giving me his personal number so that I can indicate him as my reference. He even said to make use of my remaining leaves to work on all of these things and that I can stay in his office to compose myself.
The administrative officer, upon my request, gave me my personal effects. Some files which I have left on my desk were already taken by xxx and are now with her. This includes budget approvals for some of the latter initiatives I have proposed as far as creating digital platforms are concerned. Upon going home, I took a screenshot of my xxx webmail blocked access as record.
The next day, I filed a case with NLRC. In the afternoon of the same day, HR texted me asking me where is the letter that we agreed upon. Today May 18, HR called and texted me asking me to meet them.
The next day, people in the comms department were surprised and even asked why their opinions were not asked because they would have vouched for me and how I work had they been asked.
Several events transpired before this which will put the entire narrative in greater perspective. I have the email and text records of these as well if needed.
Right now I am recording this while my memory is fresh.