Twin Notice Requirement in Dismissal of Employees

In the case of San Antonio vs NLRC, et al.[G.R. No. 100829. November 28, 1995.], the Supreme Court held that:

“The rudiments of due process cannot be lightly ignored. Proper compliance with the twin requirements of notice and hearing are conditions sine qua non before a dismissal may be validly effected. Elucidating, the Court, in Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. v. NLRC, (210 SCRA 277, 286) explained: “The law requires that the employer must furnish the worker sought to be dismissed with two (2) written notices before termination of employment can be legally effected: (1) notice which apprises the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought; and (2) the subsequent notice which informs the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him (Sec. 13, BP 130; Sec. 2-6 Rule XIV, Book V, Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code as amended). Failure to comply with the requirements taints the dismissal with illegality. This procedure is mandatory; in the absence of which, any judgment reached by management is void and inexistent.” The second notice must be given the employee after due hearing. The hearing requirement is not to be considered a mere technicality but one of substance to which every employee is entitled in order to at all times assure that the employer’s prerogative to dismiss or lay-off is not abused or exercised in an arbitrary manner. Consultations and conferences may not be valid substitutes for actual observance of notice and hearing. Any procedural shortcut, that effectively allows an employer to assume the roles of both accuser and judge at the same time, should not be countenanced. Not excluded from the rule are confidential and managerial employees; they themselves cannot be arbitrarily dismissed without such just causes as must be reasonably established in appropriate investigations. Shortly after petitioner, in compliance with the company’s directive, had explained why he should not be disciplinary dealt, he received forthwith the company’s “decision” dismissing him from employment. No hearing, or a semblance thereof, was conducted apparently because the company believed that the case was res ipsa loquitur in character.”

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