The time to file a labor case against an employer is not infinite. The law laid down prescriptive periods so as employees should not be sleeping on their rights else, they lose it.
1. MONETARY CLAIMS HAVE A PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD OF THREE (3) YEARS
"ART 291. MONEY CLAIMS. - All money claims arising from employer-employee relations accruing during the effectivity of this Code shall be filed within three (3) years from the time the cause of action accrued; otherwise they shall forever be barred.
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The prescriptive period referred to in Article 291 of the Labor Code, as amended applies to all kinds of money claims arising from employer-employee relations including claims for retirement benefits.
The ruling of the Supreme Court in De Guzman v. Court of Appeals, (G.R. No. 132257, October 12, 1998), squarely applies to the instant case:
"The language of Article 291 of the Labor Code does not limit its application only to "money claims specifically recoverable under said Code, " but covers all money claims arising from employer-employee relations. Since petitioners' demand for unpaid retirement/separation benefits is a money claim arising from their employment by private respondent, Article 291 of the Labor Code is applicable. Therefore, petitioners' claim should be filed within three years from the time their cause of action accrued, or forever barred by prescription. "
2. FOR UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES THE PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD IS ONE (1) YEAR
3. FOR THE FILING OF ILLEGAL DISMISSAL COMPLAINTS, THE PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD IS FOUR (4) YEARS
"The prescriptive period for filing an illegal dismissal complaint is four years from the time the cause of action accrued. This four-year prescriptive period, not the three-year period for filing money claims under Article 291 of the Labor Code, applies to claims for backwages and damages due to illegal dismissal. (Arriola v. Pilipino Star Ngayon, Inc., G.R. No. 175689, August 13, 2014)"