The Labor Arbiter who has jurisdiction over the labor dispute is guided by the 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure as to the conduct of proceedings in the case. Specifically, Rule V thereof.

Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide

the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or nonagricultural:

(a) Unfair labor practice cases;

(b) Termination disputes;

(c) If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement, those cases that

workers may file involving wages, rates of pay, hours of work and other

terms and conditions of employment;

(d) Claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of

damages arising from employer-employee relations;

(e) Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 (now 279) of the

Labor Code, as amended, including questions involving the legality of

strikes and lockouts;

(f) Except claims for employees compensation not included in the

next succeeding paragraph, social security, medicare (now Philhealth), and maternity benefits, all other claims arising from employer-employee relations,

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including those of persons in domestic or household service, involving an

amount exceeding Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00), whether or not

accompanied with a claim for reinstatement;

(g) Wage distortion disputes in unorganized establishments not

voluntarily settled by the parties pursuant to Republic Act No. 6727;

(h) Enforcement of compromise agreements when there is noncompliance by any of the parties pursuant to Article 227 (now 233) of the

Labor Code, as amended;

(i) Money claims arising out of employer-employee relationship or

by virtue of any law or contract, involving Filipino workers for overseas

deployment, including claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other

forms of damages as provided by Section 10 of RA 8042, as amended by

RA 10022; and

(j) Other cases as may be provided by law.

Cases arising from the interpretation or implementation of collective bargaining agreements and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies shall be disposed of by the Labor Arbiter by referring the same to the grievance machinery and voluntary arbitration, as may be provided in said agreements.

The proceedings before the Labor Arbiter shall be non-litigious in nature. Subject to the requirements of due process, the technicalities of law and procedure and the rules obtaining in the courts of law shall not strictly apply thereto. The Labor Arbiter may avail himself/herself of all reasonable means to ascertain the facts of the controversy speedily, including ocular inspection and examination of well-informed persons.

Within two (2) days from receipt of a complaint or amended complaint, the Labor Arbiter shall issue the required summons, attaching thereto a copy of the complaint or amended complaint and its annexes, if any. The summons shall specify the date, time and place of the mandatory conciliation and mediation conference in two (2) settings.

Summons shall be served personally upon the parties by the bailiff or a duly authorized public officer within three (3) days from his/her receipt thereof, or by registered mail, or by courier authorized by the Commission: Provided that, in special circumstances, service of summons may be effected in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court, as amended.

The bailiff or officer serving the summons shall submit his/her return within two (2) days from date of service thereof, stating legibly in his/her return his/her name, the names of the persons served and the date of receipt, which return shall be immediately attached to the records and shall be part thereof. If no service was effected, the reason thereof shall be stated in the return.

In case of service by registered mail or by courier authorized by the Commission, the names of the addressees and the dates of receipt of the summons shall be written in the return card or in the proof of service issued by the private courier. If no service was effected, the reason thereof shall be so stated. (n) (As amended by En Banc Resolution No. 05-14, Series of 2014)

The following pleadings and motions shall not be allowed and acted upon nor elevated to the Commission:

(a) Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the ground of lack of

jurisdiction over the subject matter, improper venue, res judicata, prescription and forum shopping;

(b) Motion for a bill of particulars;

(c) Motion for new trial;

(d) Petition for relief from judgment;

(e) Motion to declare respondent in default;

(f) Motion for reconsideration of any decision or any order of the

Labor Arbiter;

(g) Motion to Quash and/or Motion to Lift Garnishment if a Petition

had been filed under Rule XII;

(h) Appeal from any interlocutory order of the Labor Arbiter, such  as but not limited to, an order: (1) denying a motion to dismiss; (2) denying a motion to inhibit; (3) denying a motion for issuance of writ of execution; or (4) denying a motion to quash writ of execution;

(i) Appeal from the issuance of a certificate of finality of decision by the Labor Arbiter;

(j) Appeal from orders issued by the Labor Arbiter in the course of execution proceedings; and

(k) Such other pleadings, motions and petitions of similar nature intended to circumvent above provisions. (As amended by En Banc Resolution No. 02-15, Series of 2015)

Before the date set for the mandatory conciliation and mediation conference, the respondent may file a motion to dismiss on grounds provided under Section 5, paragraph (a) of the Rules.

Such motion shall be acted upon by the Labor Arbiter before the issuance of an order requiring the submission of position paper. An order denying the motion to dismiss, or suspending its resolution until the final determination of the case, is not appealable. (As amended by En Banc Resolution No. 11-12, Series of 2012)

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No motion to dismiss is allowed or entertained after the lapse of the period provided in Section 6 of the Rules.

The mandatory conciliation and mediation conference is usually held. Except during the strict COVID-19 lockdowns where NLRC offices were closed for health reasons. Thus, mandatory conferences were either not held or done via videoconference.

The mandatory conciliation and mediation conference shall be called for the purpose of:

(1) amicably settling the case upon a fair compromise;

(2) determining the real parties in interest;

(3) determining the necessity of amending the complaint and including all

causes of action;

(4) defining and simplifying the issues in the case;

(5) entering into admissions or stipulations of facts; and

(6) threshing out all other preliminary matters.

The Labor Arbiter shall personally preside over and take full control of the proceedings and may be assisted by the Labor Arbitration Associate in the conduct thereof. Provided that, in areas where there is no Labor Arbiter assigned, conciliation and mediation may be conducted by a Labor Arbitration Associate, any other NLRC personnel with sufficient training and knowledge on conciliation and mediation, authorized by the Chairman or a duly authorized personnel of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) pursuant to any Memorandum of Agreement executed for this purpose. (As amended by En Banc Resolution No. 05-14, Series of 2014)

Conciliation and mediation efforts shall be exerted by the Labor Arbiters or the said authorized personnel all throughout the mandatory conferences. (As amended by En Banc Resolution No. 05-14, Series of 2014)

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