I need an advice regarding my last pay. I believe that an employee who resigned has to wait for three months before she could get her last pay. I complied with the requirements of the company for resigning employees including the exit interview. After the interview, I was advised that it would take 30-45 working days before I could get my last pay.
After 45 days I made a follow-up, but the company’s accounting staff said that my last pay will only be available after a couple of months. It has been four months since my exit interview, but the company has not yet released my last pay. Please advise me what to do.
Voluntary resignation is defined as the act of an employee who finds himself in a situation where he believes that personal reason cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service and that he has no other choice but to disassociate himself from his employment. It is a formal pronouncement or relinquishment of an office, with the intention of relinquishing the office accompanied by the act of relinquishment (BMG Records (Phils), Inc, v. Aparecio, G.R. No. 153290 September 5, 2007 citing Fortuny Garments v. Castro, G.R. No. 150668, December 15, 2005). An employee who voluntary resigns from work is mandated by Article 285 of the Labor Code to serve a written notice to his employer at least one month in advance.
It has been the practice of the companies to require their resigned employees to make the necessary clearance to ensure the proper turnover of their work to other employees and that they have no unsettled liabilities with the employers, although the latter may set other requirements for resigning employees, as in your case where your employer required you to undergo an exit interview.
After clearance or completion of the requirement for resigning employees, we see no reason why the last pay of the employee should not be given. However, the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations are silent about the period when employers should release the last pay of their resigned employees. Thus, we are of the opinion that it should be given within a reasonable time. In your case, the lapse of four months from the date of completion with the requirements for resigned employees may be considered as reasonable lapse of time for the employer to release your last pay. We suggest, however, that you give a final demand letter to your employer asking for the release of your last pay. If despite demand your former employer failed to release your last pay, you may file a complaint before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) of the place where your workplace is located (2005 Revised Rules of Procedure of the National Labor Relations Commission). The NLRC’s jurisdiction over your complaint is pursuant to Article 217 of the Labor Code, which provides:
“Except as otherwise provided under this Code, the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide within 30 calendar days after the submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension, even in the absence of stenographic notes, the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-agricultural:
6. xxx, all other claims, arising from employer–employee relations, including those of persons in domestic or household service, involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement.”
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