I worked for a BPO company and was terminated back in October 2012. I was able to process my clearance a few years ago but the company refused to give me my back pay. The reason they’re giving me is due to a case which I filed against them at the NLRC.
There had already been a resolution on the suit I filed, and I lost but until now they still refuse to give my back pay to me. A friend/colleague of mine filed a case against the same company but he was able to get his separation pay even though his case was still pending.
Back pay is usually the term we use for earned wages or salaries that were not claimed by an employee at the time of severance from his or her work. Back pay is not synonymous with back wages. Payment of backwages is one of the reliefs sought by an employee who was illegally dismissed by an employer pursuant to Article 279 of the Labor Code. This provision provides that “an employer may not terminate a regular employee except for a just cause or authorized cause. An employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to time of his actual reinstatement.”
Since there was already a resolution in the complaint which you filed at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), it is best if you review your complaint and the resolution of the Labor Arbiter on your claims. The company cannot deny you your back pay, because this is the payment for days which you have already worked. Thus, you are entitled thereto regardless of the reason of your severance from work. The filing of a labor complaint is not a ground for denying payment of back pay. However, the reason for this could be that the claim for backpay was already included in the resolution that was issued by the Labor Arbiter. Hence, we suggest that you bring a copy of your complaint and resolution to the lawyer who assisted you in the preparation of your position paper since he is the person most knowledgeable about your case.
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org