House OKs bill bolstering women’s protection vs discrimination
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill that would expand the prohibited acts of discrimination against women on the account of sex.
With 226 affirmative votes, lawmakers approved House Bill No. 7722, which amends Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines.
Under House Bill No. 7722, acts of discrimination against women on the account of their sex are further expanded as follows:
- Favoring a male employee over a female employee with respect to assignment, promotion, training opportunities, study, and scholarship grants, solely on account of their sex or characteristics, whether actual or presumed;
- Favoring a male employee over a female employee with respect to the dismissal of personnel or the application of any retrenchment policy of the employer solely on account of their sex or characteristics, whether actual or presumed; and
- Denying any woman the benefits of employment or other statutory benefits under our laws by reason of sex
Further, the proposed measure states that it is prohibited to discharge a woman on account of her pregnancy, or while on leave, or while in confinement due to pregnancy.
Any employer proven to commit or attempts in any manner to commit the prohibited acts shall be punished with a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P200,000 and/or imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than two years, according to the proposed measure.
It likewise notes that the conviction or acquittal obtained by the employer shall not prevent a female employee from filing a civil suit for the payment of salaries or benefits due to her.
Moreover, the proposed legislation says any employee or person who willfully aids or abets in the commission of the prohibited acts, or who causes the commission of the said acts by another shall also be given the same punishment as the employer.
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