When he was given memo re: demotion, was he given the chance to explain his side on the alleged inefficiency?
Concept of Demotion
There is demotion where there is reduction in position, rank or salary as a result of a transfer. (Philippine Wireless, Inc. [Pocketbell] vs. NLRC, G. R. No. 112963, July 20, 1999).
There is demotion when an employee occupying a highly technical position requiring the
use of an employee’s mental faculty, is transferred to another position where she performed mere
mechanical work - virtually a transfer from a position of dignity to a servile or menial job. (Blue
Dairy Corporation vs. NLRC, G. R. No. 129843, Sept. 14, 1999).
Generally, demotion is allowed as a valid exercise of management prerogative, often as a consequence of an employee’s failure to comply with company productivity standards. (Leonardo vs. NLRC, June 16, 2000 and Fuerte vs. Aquino, June 16, 2000).
Further, the employer has the right to demote and transfer an employee who has failed to observe proper diligence in his work and incurred habitual tardiness and absences and indolence in his assigned work. (Petrophil Corporation vs. NLRC, G. R. No. L-64048, Aug. 29, 1986).
Twin Notice Requirement
While an employer may demote an employee for valid reasons, it must first comply with the twin requirements of notice and hearing. This is because a demotion affects the employment of an employee, whose right to continued employment under the same terms and conditions, is likewise protected by law. (Floren Hotel vs. NLRC, May 6, 2005) Demotion, like dismissal or termination from employment, is in the nature of a punitive action, which an employee should be given a chance to contest.
Simply put, even the employer’s right to demote an employee requires the observance of the twin-notice requirement. (Floren Hotel vs. NLRC, G. R. No. 155264, May 6, 2005).
Does the memo stated specific circumstances why your husband was inefficient in his job as a Lead Man? Did they provide proof of his inefficiency other than mere conjectures? Was there any company productivity standards required under the Lead Man position?
In your husband's 26 years of service with the company, was he ever subjected to any disciplinary action or was his attention called for any company rules infractions (aside from the recent demotion)?
Another question, meron ba silang retirement plan? Mas malaki ba ang makukuha nya kapag nag-retire sya upon reaching the retirement age rather than applying for early retirement? If so, then something is fishy here.
If you believe that there was no just cause for the demotion of your husband in addition to the fact that he was not afforded due process in his demotion, then he can go to NLRC and file a case for constructive dismissal arising from demotion without due process. Specially so since you mentioned that there was no performance evaluation to sustain their allegation of inefficiency.
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