Can a resolution of a labor arbiter reinstating an illegally dismissed employee be immediately carried out despite the fact that the employer filed an appeal?
The provision of Article 223 of the Labor Code of the Philippines squarely answers your question. The article provides:
In any event, the decision of the labor arbiter reinstating a dismissed or separated employee, insofar as the reinstatement aspect is concerned, shall immediately be executory, even pending appeal. The employee shall either be admitted back to work under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to his dismissal or separation or, at the option of the employer, merely reinstated in the payroll. The posting of a bond by the employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement provided herein.
Clearly, the resolution of the labor arbiter finding illegal dismissal and reinstating the employment of the terminated employee is immediately executory even if an appeal questioning the resolution is pending. The employer cannot rationalize that since the appeal is pending, the reinstatement has to wait until the resolution becomes final and executory.
This was explained by the Supreme Court in the case of Pfizer, Inc. And/Or Rey Gerardo Bacarro, And/Or Ferdinand Cortes, And/Or Alfred Magallon, And/Or Aristotle Arce vs. Geraldine Velasco (G.R. No. 177467, March 9, 2011), in this wise:
“In sum, the court reiterates the principle that reinstatement pending appeal necessitates that it must be immediately self-executory without need for a writ of execution during the pendency of the appeal, if the law is to serve its noble purpose, and any attempt on the part of the employer to evade or delay its execution should not be allowed. Furthermore, we likewise restate our ruling that an order for reinstatement entitles an employee to receive his accrued backwages from the moment the reinstatement order was issued up to the date when the same was reversed by a higher court without fear of refunding what he had received. xxx”
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
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