By ALDWIN QUITASOL
Joan works in Company A inside an Export Processing Zone (EPZ). She and her co-employees make insulator tubes for Company B inside the EPZ. Everyday, they have to produce 10,000 to 15,000 pieces of tubes within eight hours as needed by the company they are supplying.
One day, their boss told them to “re-fabricate” the tubes because they were “deformed”. Joan’s boss claimed Company B would not accept the “deformed” tubes. Their boss ordered them that they have to work overtime to “re-fabricate” the tubes without pay. Joan and her companions complained, their boss said that the company has the right to let them work overtime. Their boss argued that the Philippine Labor Code states that overtime work is legal and necessary to save their company’s reputation.
Their boss read the Labor Code and that is good, however, his reading should be better if he puts some comprehension on it. Joan’s employer might have skipped Article 87 of the Labor Code stating that an employee could work overtime provided that he is paid his regular wage per hour and an additional compensation equivalent to 25% of his regular wage per hour.
For example, Joan normally works eight hours from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but she was required to work beyond regular schedule. The hours worked after 5:00 PM are considered overtime work payable accordingly as the law requires. In addition, if she still works between 10:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. the next day, she is entitled to a Night Shift Differential pay of not less than 10% of his regular wage for each hour performed including the overtime pay.
For purposes of computing overtime and other additional compensation as required by the labor code the “regular wage” of an employee shall include the cash wage only, without deduction because of facilities provided by the employer.
In connection to the argument of Joan’s boss on working overtime, Article 89 of the labor code states that any employee may be required to perform overtime works in cases where:
a) the country is at war or a national or local emergency has been declared by the national assembly or the chief executive;
b) to prevent loss of life or property or in case of imminent danger to public safety due to an actual or impending emergency in the locality caused by serious accidents, disasters or incidents;
c) when there is urgent work to be performed on machines, installations, or equipments in order to avoid serious loss or damage to the employer or some other cause of similar nature;
d) when the work is necessary to prevent loss or damage to perishable goods;
e) Lastly, where the completion or continuation of the work started before the 8th hour is necessary to prevent serious obstructions or prejudice to the business or operations of the employer.
Take note that the title of Article 89 is Emergency Overtime Work and any employee who has been required to render such should be paid additional compensation. The articles even used the term “may be required” and not “should be required”. This means that Joan and her co-workers may or may not work overtime in accordance to her will. #