When Can an Employee Be Terminated?

In as much as the employees have certain rights assured to them by law, employers also have inherent rights in conducting their business and in regulating their employees in all phases of employment from the time of hiring, assigning and transferring the employees, laying down the employees working benefits and conditions, disciplining up to terminating of employees. These rights are provided by law in the exercise of their management prerogatives.

The last phase of employment or the dismissal of an employee is the most talked about issue in labor and employment.

Indeed, the employer has the right to discipline its employees up to the extent of terminating the employment of those who have transgressed the rules and regulations of the employer. This right is available to employers for their self-preservation.

However, the government, in authorizing the employer to dismiss erring employees, still provides reasonable safeguards to the employees. Employees should only be dismissed legally.

So, when can an employee be validly terminated?

An employee can only be terminated for reasons allowed by law and if the procedural due process is complied with.

Causes of Termination

There are two kinds of causes for the employer to terminate his/her employee. These are just causes and authorized causes.

Just causes are those causes which are within the control of the employee. These are: serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee; gross or habitual neglect of the duties assigned; Fraudulent acts or willful breach of the employment contract entered into by both the employer and employee as well as the trust and confidence given to the employee; commission of a crime or offense against the employer, its family members and its authorized agents; and other similar causes.

Authorized Causes are those matters not within the control of the employees. These are those which will aid the employee in preventing company losses or tolling closure of the business of the employer by employing some labor-saving devices. Authorized causes also include disease prejudicial to the health of other employees because of the communicable nature of the disease, or when medical findings disclose that normal medical treatment is not enough as cure.

What is Procedural Due Process

Procedural due process is a requirement by law in dismissing or terminating an employee. The standard procedural due process set by law is the twin requirement of notice and hearing. Absence of any will cause the employer to be accountable for legal damages.