2014 (Labor Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 6

[Answer/discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Labor Law Instructions; 2014 Labor Law essay and multiple choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


Lina has been working as a steward with a Miami, U.S.A.-based Loyal Cruise Lines for the past 15 years. She was recruited by a local manning agency, Macapagal Shipping, and was made to sign a 10-month employment contract everytime she left for Miami. Macapagal Shipping paid for Lina’s round-trip travel expenses from Manila to Miami. Because of a food poisoning incident which happened during her last cruise assignment, Lina was not re-hired. Lina claims she has been illegally terminated and seeks separation pay. If you were the Labor Arbiter handling the case, how would you decide? (4%)


  1. Yes, she has been illegally terminated and should be awarded
    separation pay.

    While Lina has been working for for the Cruise Lines for
    the past 15 years and signs a 10-month contract for
    every engagement does not mean her employer can just
    terminate her employment without observing due process.

    Whether an employee is regular, probationary, or contractual
    the law requires the observance of due process.

    A worker’s employment is property in the constitutional sense. He
    cannot be deprived of his work without due process of law.

    Maneja v. NLRC (98)
    Due process requirements are two-fold: substantive and the

    Substantive – dismissal must be for a valid or authorized cause as
    provided by law (Articles 279, 281, 282-284, New Labor Code
    Procedural – notice and hearing

    Salaw v. NLRC (91)

    Notice – intended to inform the employee concerned of the
    employer’s intent to dismiss and the reason for the proposed

    Hearing – affords the employee an opportunity to answer his
    employer’s charges against him and accordingly

  2. I will dismiss the case. It is bereft of merit because a seafarer is a contractual employee. Thus, there is no reason for it to substantiate a claim for illegal dismissal where in fact, the contract is simply not renewed or put to an end.

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