The House of Representatives on Monday approved on second reading the bill that would expand the prohibited acts of discrimination against women based on her sex in the workplace.
The lawmakers voted and approved House Bill No. 7722, amending Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines.
The measure primarily aims to strengthen the protection against discrimination against women in the workplace based on their sex and characteristics of their sex.
Under the measure, considered acts of discrimination against women on account of their sex are the following:
- favoring a male employee over a female employee with respect to assignment, promotion, training opportunities, study and scholarship grants, 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, whether actual or presumed, and
- deny any woman the benefits of employment or other statutory benefits under the law on the basis of her sex.
House approves bill expanding discriminatory acts vs. women in the workplace
The bill also prohibits discharging a woman on account of her pregnancy, or while on leave, or while in confinement due to pregnancy.
An employer who would be found guilty of committing or attempting in any manner to commit the prohibited acts would have to pay fines 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 bill.
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, the measure added.
The bill also mandates 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.