I had an issue regarding the release of my 13th month pay. I was on Medical Leave Of Absence from October 3, 2012 until December 3, 2012. Prior to my MLOA, our company announced that the 13th month pay would be released on November 22, 2012. Thankful of the news of the early release, I was uplifted as it would compensate for the loss of income during the period of my MLOA.
Before the release of the 13th month pay, my company released a memo regarding guidelines for the of the 13th month pay release. One section specifies that employees who are still on Leave Of Absence by November 15, 2012 would not receive their 13th month pay on the scheduled date. Instead, it will be released on the nearest payroll date upon the employees return in consideration of payroll cutoff times.
During this period, there have been several internal communications to HR that I and my supervisor have sent to query when I would receive my benefit. Hopeful that after my Leave of Absence, I would receive my 13th month pay by the December 15, 2012 payroll date (just in time for my birthday which is on December 17).
To my dismay, no 13th month pay was released on the December 15, 2012 payroll. On December 20, 2012, I received a reply from our HR advising why my 13th month pay was not released. Our HR explained that since my return after my LOA was after the cutoff time. Instead, I would receive my 13th month pay on the December 30, 2012 payroll date.
True enough, I received my 13th month pay along with my salary on December 27, 2012. More than 1 month after the scheduled release date by our company.
I have since then filed a formal complaint through the proper grievance procedures of our company. I have explained through my formal complaint that I was hopeful for the benefit as to compensate for the loss of income, celebration of my birthday and the expenses for the Christmas holidays. I've explained that because of this incident I had to endure a additional amount of emotional and mental stress. I was forced to borrow money from friends and family, pawn personal items of value to compensate for my current and additional financial obligations.
I then had a meeting with our HR this January 24, 2013. I was asked what I wanted out of the formal complaint I filed. I was given an apology by HR that the 13th month pay was subjected to company policies and procedures but was still released.
Not happy with the response, I told our HR I would think about the situation and if I would consider filing a case with the NLRC.
*** My question is, should I file a case with the NLRC directly or should I demand for compensation from our company? If I were to demand for compensation how would I justify the amount? What type of damages would be involved in this situation? ***