The complexities of political colors

The Filipino people were united in toppling the Marcos dictatorship during the 1986 EDSA Revolt. Fast forward to February 25, 2017 and we witnessed the anti-dictatorship movement gather at the People Power Monument in EDSA while supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte downplayed the EDSA commemoration by organizing at the Quirino Grandstand. The colors that stood-out prominently in both venues mirror the current social order in the Philippines. “Fighting colors” are more common in collegiate sports and cheering competitions than in politics. College teams in the Philippines carry their respective colors with pride (i.e. Ateneo Blue Eagles, La Salle Green Archers, UST Golden Tigers, UP Maroons, and San Beda Red Lions). In Philippine politics, the most common and often used colors by political parties and candidates after World War II were red, white, and blue. This was an easy choice because these are the colors of Philippine flag. Regardless of party affiliations, candidates want to present themselves as “pillars of patriotism” and “promoters of nationalistic ideals.” Before Martial Law was declared, the two main political parties (Liberal Party andthe Nacionalista Party) were very much alike in their party emblems and political platforms. Both were also represented by the elite who tried to maintain the status quo.

The only group that challenged the then elite-dominated government was the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (“CPP”) who had strong support among the students, workers, peasants, and the urban poor. The CPP carried the color red which in the Philippine context is associated with protests and uprisings. Red is the fighting color of the revolutionary Katipunan, the Pulahanes, of many millenarian movement, of progressive trade unions like the Kilusang Mayo Uno, and of the militant youth groups Kabataang Makabayan and the League of Filipino Students. During the time of Martial Law and the New Society Movement (Kilusang BagongLipunan), then President Ferdinand Marcos took the political colors of the two-party system and consolidated them into one--- he also consolidated a faction of the Philippine elite. With the people silenced by violence and fear, the only consistent challenge to Marcos again came from the


2-3 year Statute of Limitations for prospective lawsuits for back pay

In a number of instances, I hear of our countrymen lament about the way their previous employers took advantage and exploited them knowing fully well their lack of immigration status, by not being paid the minimum wage or overtime pay, even if they are rightfully entitled to the same. Many of them simply continue to work under such unfair conditions and accept their unfortunate fate. Many of them generally feel powerless to do something about it. The worse part about it is that their services were ultimately terminated, for no apparent reason at all.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires all employers to keep/maintain employment records for each non-exempt worker containing mandatory/identifying information about the employee, hours worked and the wages earned. This law requires that this information to be accurate and must contain the following, to wit:

a) Employer’s full name and SSS number;
b) Address, including zip code;
c) Birth date, if younger than 19 years old;
d) Sex and occupation;
e) Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins;
f) Hours worked each day;
g) Total hours worked each workweek;
h) Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (e.g., “$9/hour”, “$440/week” or “piecework”)
i) Regular hourly pay rate;
j) Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings;
k) Total overtime earnings for the workweek;
l) All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages;
m) Total wages paid each pay period;
n) Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.

These employment/payroll records must be kept for at least 3 years and records on which wage computations are based, should be retained for 2 years, i.e., time cards, wage rate tables, work and time schedules and records of additions to or deductions from wages. Many employees work on a fixed schedule from which they seldom vary. If for any reason, the worker is on a job for a longer or shorter period of time, the employer must record the same, on an exception basis.

Many employers simply do not diligently keep such employment records. As such, potential lawsuits against them for unpaid wages, overtime and/or wage and hour disputes will be rather difficult to defend. Such is the case of many of our countrymen especially caregivers, restaurant workers, etc., whose services are not compensated fairly or worse, are taken advantaged of by their previous employers by not being paid the minimum wage or any overtime pay due to their lack of legal immigration status. Any employee who has been treated unfairly, regardless of his/her legal immigration status, has a statutory period of 2 years within which to file a lawsuit to recover any such unpaid minimum or overtime wages. In addition to the back pay, the aggrieved employee is also entitled to an equal amount for liquidated damages plus attorney’s fees and court costs. In case of willful violations, a 3-year statute of limitations applies.

For any further inquiry with regards to this employment law matter, please call for a free consultation the Law Office of Ramoncito P. Ocampo & Associates at (213) 388-9925 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The law office also handles immigration, family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and probate cases.

Law Office of Ramoncito P. Ocampo
3255 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. #1010
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: (213) 388-9925
Fax #: (213) 388-6080

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