Resignation is defined as the voluntary act of an employee who finds himself in a situation where he believes that personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service and he has no other choice but to disassociate himself from his employment. (Virgen Shipping Corp. vs. Barraquio, G.R. No. 178127, April 16, 2009 citing Valdez vs. NLRC.) The key is that resignation must be a “voluntary act”, and that the employee must have knowingly and voluntarily dissociate himself from his employment for his own personal reasons. It does not cover cases where the employee is forced to resign with the use of threats, intimidation, coercion or manipulation, or where resignation is imposed as a penalty for an offense. The common practice of allowing an employee to resign, instead of terminating him for just cause so as not to smear his employment record, also fall under the category of voluntary resignation. (See J Marketing Corp. vs. Taran, G.R. No. 163924, June 28, 2009). Resignation Notice
The Labor Code requires the employee to give an advance notice to the employer of his intention to resign. The notice of resignation must be in writing and must be served to the employer at least one month prior to the effective date of his resignation. Resignation notice usually takes the form of a letter (commonly called “resignation letter”) addressed to the employer, expressing the employee’s intention to terminate his employment. It must state the date when resignation is to take effect because of the 30-day notice requirement under the law. It may also contain the reason or justification of the employee for filing his resignation, although legally, this is not important. The employee may resign for whatever reason, or even for no reason at all. Thus, in legal parlance, voluntary resignation is also called “termination by employee without just cause.” Resignation letter normally contains explicit words expressing employee’s intention to...
In Lilia Pascua, et al. vs. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 123518, March 13, 1998, the Supreme Court, reiterated that:
“The grant of separation pay, however, is inconsistent with existing employment or voluntary resignation, for it presupposes illegal dismissal.”
In addition to the exceptions cited above, there are other cases where the court may award separation pay to voluntarily resigning employee. For example, in Alfaro vs. CA, G.R. No. 140812, August 28, 2001, the Court ordered the payment of separation pay despite holding that the employee voluntarily resign from service, and although such payment was not mandated under the CBA or employment contract. Same conclusion was arrived at in J Marketing.
In both of the above cases, the employer agreed to give separation pay to the employee as an incident of the latter’s resignation, but later on renege in the performance of such commitment. The Court held that such practice should not be countenanced.
In Alfaro, the Court ruled as follows:
“Generally, separation pay need not be paid to an employee who voluntarily resigns. However, an employer who agrees to expend such benefit as an incident of the resignation should not be allowed to renege in the performance of such commitment.”
1. Article 285, Labor Code of the Philippines
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