Question B.12, Labor Law, 2019 Bar Exam

Due to serious business reverses, ABC Co. decided to terminate the services of several officers receiving "fat" compensation packages. One of these officers was Mr. X, its Vice-President for External Affairs and a member of the Board of Directors. Aggrieved, Mr. X filed a complaint for illegal dismissal before the National labor Relations Commission (NLRC) – Regional Arbitration Branch.

ABC Co. moved for the dismissal of the case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, asserting that since Mr. X occupied the position of Vice-President for External Affairs which is listed in the by-laws of the corporation, the case should have been tiled before the Regional Trial Court.

The Labor Arbiter (LA) denied ABC Co.’s motion and proceeded to rule that Mr. X was illegally dismissed. Hence, he was reinstated in ABC Co.’s payroll pending its appeal to the NLRC.

(a) Did the LA err in denying ABC Co.’s motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction? Explain. (2.5%)

(b) Assuming the LA’s ruling of illegal dismissal with finality, may ABC Co. claim reimbursement for the amounts it paid to Mr. X during the time that he was on payroll reinstatement pending appeal? Explain. (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Yes. Answer

Under labor law jurisprudence, one who is included in the by-laws of a corporation in its roster of corporate officers is an officer of said corporation and not a mere employee. The determination of the rights of a corporate officer dismissed from his empl...

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