Discrimination and Harassment Under the Labor Law in Manila, Philippines

There are many reasons employees are leaving their companies despite the top-grade pay and benefits. That is the presence of discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the workplace. These kinds of activities encompass a broad range of issues and the target could be based on race, color, religion, gender, nationality, or physical attributes.

Women are the ones commonly portrayed as key victims of discrimination or workplace harassment, but men are also subjected to it.

Here in the Philippines, many employees have already witnessed or fallen victim to some sort of office bullying, or in some cases, instigated them.

Though some people just tolerate this kind of activity or just simply found a way around them, there are times that it just becomes too much, and peace of mind is something that all employees would never trade for a hefty payslip.

This is why it’s important to know your rights, obligations, and privileges as an employee under the Labor Law so you could determine if something done to you is in accordance with the said law. Not having enough knowledge of those 3 mentioned above could make the other party abuse you whether it’s intentional or not.

What are the laws prohibiting discrimination or harassment in employment here in the Philippines?

The Labor Code of the Philippines prohibits discrimination of any kind, especially against women on account of their gender, and against children on account of their age. There are many laws under the Labor Code that prohibit discrimination or harassment, depending on the case scenario.

A famous example would be The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act or RA No. 7877 that prohibits any form or kind of sexual harassment in the workplace. This also includes any unwelcome sexual advance, request or demand for a sexual favor, or other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature that is committed by a government employee or official in a work-related environment.

Another one that would really be beneficial (especially today) to all employees would be The Mental Health Act or RA No. 11036. The Mental Health Act requires employers to develop appropriate policies and programs on mental health in the workplace. This also includes raising awareness on mental health issues, correcting the stigma and discrimination with mental health conditions, as well as providing support for individuals at risk with mental health conditions to treatment and psychosocial support.

Other acts prohibit discrimination and harassment and this includes:

  • The Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710) or the act that prohibits discrimination against women.
  • The Magna Carta for Persons with Disability (Republic Act No. 7277). This provides that a qualified employee with a disability shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment as a qualified able-bodied person.
  • The Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act (Republic Act No. 11166). This act prohibits the rejection of job application, termination of employment, or other discriminatory policies in hiring, provision of employment, and other related benefits, promotion, or assignment of an individual solely or partially based on actual, perceived, or suspected HIV status.

If you’re experiencing discrimination or harassment in your workplace, do not worry because Labor Law is one of the expertise of the Yap, Kung, Ching & Associates Law Office here in the Philippines so you are guaranteed that your situation will be handled by the best lawyers available in our office.

You can give us a call from Mondays to Fridays, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at +632 8251-3404 / +632 8716-3392, or email us at info@ykclaw.ph.

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