Serious insult as basis for resignation

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
Can I leave my work without tendering a 30-day notice if my supervisor is very abusive to me? At first, he used to make unnecessary remarks whenever I would pass by his way, which really made me uncomfortable.

Recently, he had been body-shaming me in front of my co-workers and, since he is a supervisor, no one calls his attention for fear of putting their jobs on the line. I just want to resign immediately because I can no longer stand being around him.

My co-workers said I need to wait for 30 days before my resignation could take effect but I don’t think I can wait any longer. It is so stressful being at work because of him. Please advise me on this matter.

Dear Fe,
As a general rule, an employee may, without just cause, put an end to his employment relationship with his employer by serving a written notice at least one month in advance. He may be held liable for damages if he fails to comply with the given period for tendering his resignation (Article 285 (a), Labor Code of the Philippines).

An employee, however, may terminate such employee-employer relationship without the need of serving any notice on the employer if it is based on any of the following just causes:“(1) Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee; (2) Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative; (3) Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and (4) Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.” (Article 285 (b), Id.)

In the situation that you have presented, we submit that you may terminate your employment by tendering your resignation with your employer without the need of awaiting the 30-day period, provided that you can fully explain and/or demonstrate the seriousness or gravity of the demeanor of your supervisor toward you, particularly the specific insults and unnecessary remarks he has made against you, the frequency thereof, the place or particular instances where these were made and the like. This is essential if only to protect you, should your employer later on hold you liable for damages on the assertion that your resignation did not comply with the one-month notice rule.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed 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


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