Case Brief: Jose Rizal College v National Labor Relations Commission and National Alliance of Teachers/Office Workers

G.R. No. L-65482 December 1, 1987

JOSE RIZAL COLLEGE, petitioner,
vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION AND NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF TEACHERS/OFFICE WORKERS, respondents.

Facts:

Petitioner is a non-stock, non-profit educational institution duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines.

Private respondent National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (NATOW) in behalf of the faculty and personnel of Jose Rizal College filed a complaint against the college for said alleged non-payment of holiday pay from 1975 to 1977.

Labor Arbiter:

  1. The faculty and personnel of the respondent Jose Rizal College who are paid their salary by the month uniformly in a school year, irrespective of the number of working days in a month, without deduction for holidays, are presumed to be already paid the 10 paid legal holidays and are no longer entitled to separate payment for the said regular holidays;
  2. The personnel of the respondent Jose Rizal College who are paid their wages daily are entitled to be paid the 10 unworked regular holidays according to the pertinent provisions of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code;
  3. Collegiate faculty of the respondent Jose Rizal College who by contract are paid compensation per student contract hour are not entitled to unworked regular holiday pay considering that these regular holidays have been excluded in the programming of the student contact hours.

NLRC: Teaching personnel paid by the hour are entitled to holiday pay

Issue:

Whether or not the school faculty who according to their contracts are paid per lecture hour are entitled to unworked holiday pay.

Held:

No. The provisions in the Labor Code as to holiday pay do not apply in this case.

Subject holiday pay is provided for in the Labor Code (Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended), which reads:

Art. 94. Right to holiday pay — (a) Every worker shall be paid his regular daily wage during regular holidays, except in retail and service establishments regularly employing less than ten (10) workers;

(b) The employer may require an employee to work on any holiday but such employee shall be paid a compensation equivalent to twice his regular rate; … “

and in the Implementing Rules and Regulations, Rule IV, Book III, which reads:

SEC. 8. Holiday pay of certain employees. — (a) Private school teachers, including faculty members of colleges and universities, may not be paid for the regular holidays during semestral vacations. They shall, however, be paid for the regular holidays during Christmas vacations. …

The aforementioned implementing rule is not justified by the provisions of the law which after all is silent with respect to faculty members paid by the hour. Regular holidays specified as such by law are known to both school and faculty members as no class days;” certainly the latter do not expect payment for said unworked days, and this was clearly in their minds when they entered into the teaching contracts.

On the other hand, both the law and the Implementing Rules governing holiday pay are silent as to payment on Special Public Holidays.

It is readily apparent that the declared purpose of the holiday pay which is the prevention of diminution of the monthly income of the employees on account of work interruptions is defeated when a regular class day is cancelled on account of a special public holiday and class hours are held on another working day to make up for time lost in the school calendar. Otherwise stated, the faculty member, although forced to take a rest, does not earn what he should earn on that day. Be it noted that when a special public holiday is declared, the faculty member paid by the hour is deprived of expected income, and it does not matter that the school calendar is extended in view of the days or hours lost, for their income that could be earned from other sources is lost during the extended days. Similarly, when classes are called off or shortened on account of typhoons, floods, rallies, and the like, these faculty members must likewise be paid, whether or not extensions are ordered.

SC Decision:

(a) exempting petitioner from paying hourly paid faculty members their pay for regular holidays, whether the same be during the regular semesters of the school year or during semestral, Christmas, or Holy Week vacations;

(b) but ordering petitioner to pay said faculty members their regular hourly rate on days declared as special holidays or for some reason classes are called off or shortened for the hours they are supposed to have taught, whether extensions of class days be ordered or not; in case of extensions said faculty members shall likewise be paid their hourly rates should they teach during said extensions.

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