Question B.11, Labor Law, 2019 Bar Exam

Briefly discuss the powers and responsibilities of the following in the scheme of the Labor Code:

(a) Secretary of Labor (2%)

(b) Bureau of Labor Relations (2%)

(c) Voluntary Arbitrators (2%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) The Secretary of Labor has:

1) Visitorial and enforcement powers – including but not limited to, access to employer’s records and premises at any time of the day or night whenever work is being undertaken therein; to copy therefrom;  to question any employee; to investigate any fact, condition or matter which may be necessary to determine violations or which may aid in the enforcement of this Code and of any labor law, wage order or rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto; to issue compliance orders to give effect to the labor standards provisions of this Code and other labor legislation based on the findings of labor employment and enforcement officers or industrial safety engineers made in the course of inspection: Provided, employer-employee relationship still exists; among others.

2) Assumption of jurisdiction – When, in his opinion, there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest, the DOLE Secretary may assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the NLRC for compulsory arbitration.

3) Appellate jurisdiction – over the following cases: 1) Labor standards cases, including occupational safety and health standards, fro...

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