Salient features of DOLE Administrative Order (AO) No. 164, Series of 2017
“Participation of Legitimate Labor Organizations, Legitimate Workers Association, Chartered Local, National Union or Federation, Accredited Integrated Professional Organizations/Accredited Professional Organization, Non-Government Organizations, Employers Organizations in the Assessment of Establishments’ Compliance to Labor Laws and Social Legislations”.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) assesses existing establishments in order to determine whether they are compliant with the labor laws. The persons who are authorized to conduct the assessment are Labor Law Compliance Officers (LLCO), who are issued with a written Authority to Assess (ATA). DOLE Administrative Order No. 164, Series of 2017 (AO) extends that authority by issuing ATAs to members of legitimate labor organizations, legitimate workers association, chartered local, national union or federation, accredited integrated professional organizations, accredited professional organization, non-government organizations, and employer organizations in the assessment of establishments.
The following are the salient features of DOLE AO No. 164:
Conduct of assessment activities
- LLCO shall lead the assessment activity. Only holders of valid ATAs may participate in the assessment activity.
- Persons with valid ATAs are under the direct control and supervision of the DOLE Regional Director.
- They can only interview workers in the presence of the LLCO and the employer’s representative.
- They can only review employment records.
- They cannot obtain copies of employment nor keep workers’ affidavits; only a LLCO may obtain copies of employment records and keep workers’ affidavits.
- They shall affix their signatures in the Notice of Results (NR), which shall indicate the schedule of two (2) mandatory conferences with dates not more than two (2) weeks apart.
- The signature of ATA holders on the NR is not required and will not affect the LLCO’s findings.
- Any disagreement on the assessment findings shall be resolved by the DOLE Regional Director.
Conduct of mandatory conferences
- Only LLCOs and DOLE employees can conduct mandatory conferences.
- Holders of valid ATAs may attend mandatory conferences of establishments they assessed, and they may present evidence to support the LLCO’s findings or oppose evidence presented by the employer.
- The DOLE Regional Director shall resolve all issues raised during the mandatory conferences in the Compliance Order (CO).
Although labor organization members cannot conduct labor compliance assessments on their own, their affiliation with employee groups can result in more stringent assessments against otherwise compliant employers. In other words, due to the issuance of the AO, the DOLE labor compliance assessment can be more burdensome on employers because the assessments can involve persons who are potentially biased in favor the employees.