House of Representatives

House OKs bill expanding list of discriminatory acts vs women

Dwight de Leon
House OKs bill expanding list of discriminatory acts vs women

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. The House plenary hall.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

The measure seeks to amend the Labor Code of the Philippines, and classify as discriminatory the act of favoring a male employee over a female employee in terms of employment benefits, based on gender

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has passed a bill that seeks to further protect women from discrimination in the workplace.

House Bill No. 4479 – approved on final reading in a unanimous vote of 248-0-0 on Monday, November 28 – aims to expands the list of prohibited acts against women, amending in the process the Labor Code of the Philippines.

These include:

  • favoring a male employee over a female employee with respect to their assignment and employment benefits, solely on the account of their sex or sex characteristics, whether actual or presumed
  • favoring a male employee over a female employee on the matter of dismissal or retrenchment, solely on the account of sex or sex characteristics, whether actual or presumed
  • denying employment benefits to a woman by reason of sex

Under the proposed bill, offenders found guilty will be slapped a fine of P50,000 to P200,000, and a jail sentence of one to two years.

“Any employee or person who willfully aids or abets in the commission of the acts prohibited herein or who causes the commission of any such acts by another shall be liable in the same manner as the employer,” the bill read.

The bill was introduced by Calamba City Representative Charisse Anne Hernandez, but over two dozen other lawmakers were also listed as co-authors.

The measure already hurdled the House in the 17th and 18th Congresses, but languished in the Senate.

A counterpart version in the upper chamber filed by Senator Joel Villanueva is pending at the committee level. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers the House of Representatives and the Commission on Elections for Rappler. Previously, he wrote stories on local government units.