House approves bill penalizing workplace discrimination vs women

Published November 23, 2020, 9:29 PM

by Ben Rosario

Penalties for discrimination against working women has been guaranteed in the House of Representatives as the chamber unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill expanding the prohibited acts of gender bias in the workplace.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE)

With all 226 present during the virtual plenary session voting in the affirmative, the Lower Chamber passed House bill 7722 on final reading on Monday night.

Authored by Reps. Eric Go-Yap, Rowena Nina Taduran and Jocelyn Tuylfo of ACT CIS Partylist and Edgar Aglipay of DIWA Partylist, HB 7722 seeks to amend Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines.

1PACMAN Partyilst Rep. Eric Pineda, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, lauded the House leadership under Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for its “wholehearted support” for the immediate passage of the legislative measure.

HB 7722 seeks to strengthen safeguards against discrimination of women in the workplace on account of their sex and characteristics of their sex.

Article 135 of the Labor Code was amended to prohibit discrimination against any woman employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment solely on account of her sex “or characteristics of her sex whether actual or presumed.”

Among the punishable acts of discrimination are payment of lesser compensation or any form of remuneration and fringe benefits to a female employee as compared to what a male employee receives for work of equal value.

It shall also be prohibited to favor a male employee over that of his female counterpart with respect to promotion, assignment and training opportunities, and favoring a male employee with respect to dismissal of personnel or the application of any retrenchment policy of the employer solely on account of their sex or characteristics of their sex. 

A fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P200,000 and/or imprisonment between one to two years shall be imposed against violators.

Under the bill any employee who willfully abets the commission of the prohibited acts are also liable in the same way as the employer.

In pushing for passage of the measure solons representing the ACT CIS Partylist disclosed that discrimination on account of sex is still prevalent in many workplaces in the country.

“Especially in the workplace, gender inequity comes in many different forms. Female employees or applicants are treated differently or less favorably compared to their male counterpart,” the three ACT CIS lawmakers stressed.

 
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