Agabon doctrine

1. Concept

“Agabon doctrine” – refers to jurisprudential rule that the dismissal of employees for just causes or authorized causes but without observance of procedural due process will be upheld subject to the employer being liable for nominal damages. (See: Agabon v. NLRC, En Banc, G.R. No. 158693, 17 November 2004)

Otherwise stated, so long as there is just cause or authorized cause that attended the dismissal of the employee, the dismissal or separation is valid even if procedural due process was not observed, subject to the employer being liable for nominal damages.

a. The Agabon case (2004)

The Agabon case involved Complainants who were employees and who were gypsum board and cornice installers. The Company which was engaged the business of selling and installing ornamental and construction materials. After not reporting for some time, the Company declared them to have abandoned their work. This prompted the Complainants to challenge their dismissal.

In resolving the case, the Supreme Court categorically overturned the Serrano doctrine and upheld the Wenphil doctrine with some modifications. Thus, the dismissal of the employees were upheld as they were found to have abandoned their work. Nonetheless, the employer was held liable for nominal damages due to the non-compliance of procedural due process.

b. Abandonment of Serrano doctrine, upholding of Wenphil doctrine w/ modifications

AGABON v. NLRC, supra.

⦁ [I]n Serrano, the rule on the extent of ...


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