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Biboso et al, v. Victorias Milling &OP / GR No. L44360 / 3.31.

77 /
Groups of Employees - Probationary Employees 282 / Fernando, J
p:
F: Ps assails the decision of Jacobe (OP Presl EA), declaring that as
Probationary Employees, they are not covered by the mantle of labor
protection as guaranteed by the Constitution. Ps are teachers in PRs
school, who serves in a Year-to-Year basis, signing new contracts each
year, stipulated as temporary as and when required until making Ps as
probationary employees. Ps argues that they were subjected by PR to
unfair labor practice. PR on the other hand argues otherwise. NLRC
favoured Ps, OP PRs, hence this.
The Labor Code does not set the maximum probationary period at
six months. Under the Labor Code, the probationary period is the
period required to learn a skill, trade, occupation or profession.
In other words, the Labor Code recognizes the policy of the
Bureau of Private Schools settling the maximum probationary
period for teachers at three years.'
I: WON the OP was correct.
R: The petition, as noted at the outset, cannot prosper. What is decisive
is that petitioners were well aware all the time that their tenure
was for a limited duration. Upon its termination, both parties to the
employment relationship were free to renew it or to let it lapse. It was the
decision of private respondent that it should cease.
There is no question here, as noted in the assailed order of Presidential
Executive Assistant Clave, that petitioners did not enjoy a permanent
status. During such period they could remain in their positions
and any circumvention of their rights, in accordance with the
statutory scheme, subject to inquiry and thereafter correction by
the Department of Labor. Thus there was the safeguard as to the
duration of their employment being respected. To that extent,
their tenure was secure. The moment, however, the period
expired in accordance with contracts freely entered into, they
could no longer invoke the constitutional protection.
It is difficult to believe the submission of individual petitioners that they
were terminated from employment because they joined petitioner union
VICSEA. This is indicated by the fact that petitioners became members of
petitioner union VICSEA only in January, 1973, while being observed and
monitored by PR. That the purpose of individual petitioners in joining the

union is to avert their forthcoming removal from the faculty roster was
impliedly admitted by one of the individual petitioners in her testimony:
'Q - But according to you, precisely, the reason why you joined the union
was because it would be very hard for the school to terminate you if you
are already a member of the union, did you not say that? A I said it!"
Int. Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) v. NLRC & Galang / GR
No. 72222 / 1.30.89 / Groups of Employees - Probationary
Employees 282 / Fernan, J p:
F: ICMC, non-profit refugee org, hired PR as a Probationary cultural
orientation teacher. 3 months in the ProB, he was advised orally and in
writing that she failed here evaluation, therefore she is being terminated,
thereafter she acted strangely to the point that she was hospitalized P
took care of her and was given her benefits. On 8.22.83 she sued P for
illegal dismissal, unfair labor practice, unpaid wages and reinstatement. P
Countered, that she couldnt claim such because she was terminated for
failure to qualify as a regular employee as prescribed by her employer. LA
dismissed the complaint but ordered payment of her wages for the
unconsumed 3 months, NLRC affirmed on majority decision.
I: WON PR is entitled to her salary for the unexpired portion of
her six month.
R: Not entitled. We find unmeritorious, therefore, public respondent's
argument that the security of tenure of probationary employees within
the period of their probation, as in the case of herein private respondent,
justified the award of salary for the unexpired portion of her probationary
employment. The termination of private respondent predicated on a just
cause negates the application in this case of the pronouncement in the
case of Biboso v. Victorias Milling Co., Inc., 12 on the right of security of
tenure of probationary employees.
Records show that private respondent was found by petitioner to be
deficient in classroom management, teacher-student relationship and
teaching techniques. Failure to qualify as a regular employee in
accordance with the reasonable standards of the employer is a
just cause for terminating a probationary employee specifically
recognized under Article 282 (now Article 281) of the Labor Code
The legal basis of public respondent is erroneous. A probationary
employee, as understood under Article 282 (now Article 281) of
the Labor Code, is one who is on trial by an employer during
which the employer determines whether or not he is qualified for

permanent employment. A probationary appointment is made to


afford the employer an opportunity to observe the fitness of a
probationer while at work, and to ascertain whether he will
become
a
proper
and
efficient
employee.
The
word
"probationary", as used to describe the period of employment,
implies the purpose of the term or period, but not its length.
"The right of a laborer to sell his labor to such persons as he may
choose is, in its essence, the same as the right of an employer to
purchase labor from any person whom it chooses. The employer
and the employee have thus an equality of right guaranteed by
the Constitution. If the employer can compel the employee to
work against the latter's will, this is servitude. If the employee
can compel the employer to give him work against the employer's
will, this is oppression."
Ver Buiser, Acua & Intengan v. Leogardo (MOLE) & Gen
Telephone Dir / GR Nol L-63316 / 7.31.84 / Groups of Employees Probationary Employees 282(281) / Guerrero, J p:
F: Ps are employed by PC Company as sales reps, Ps entered as ProBs for
18 months, during w/c they will be evaluated, and w/ quotas. Failing to
meet, they were dismissed, thus the suing, assailing that theyve already
met the 6 month Mandatory ProB requirements, thus making them
regular employees. MOLE RD dismissed, although claims for allowances
were ordered to be paid. Appealing, MOLE PR affirms, justifying the
unusual period of the ProB. Hence this.
I: WON MOLE PR committed grave abuse of discretion in finding
otherwise.
R: Dismissed. We reject petitioners' contentions. They have no basis in
law. Generally, the probationary period of employment is limited to six (6)
months. The exception to this general rule is when the parties to an
employment contract may agree otherwise, such as when the same is
established by company policy or when the same is required by the
nature of work to be performed by the employee. Policy Instruction No.
11 of the Minister of Labor and Employment has clarified any and
all doubts on the period of probationary employment. It states as
follows: Under the Labor Code, six (6) months is the general
probationary period, but the probationary period is actually the
period needed to determine fitness for the job. This period, for

lack of a better measurement is deemed to be the period needed


to learn the job.
In the case at bar, it is shown that private respondent Company
needs at least eighteen (18) months to determine the character
and
selling
capabilities
of
the
petitioners
as
sales
representatives. Publication of solicited ads are only made a year
after the sale has been made and only then will the company be
able to evaluate the efficiency, conduct, and selling ability of its
sales representatives, the evaluation being based on the
published ads. Moreover, an eighteen-month probationary period
is recognized by the Labor Union in the private respondent
company.
The practice of a company in laying off workers because they failed to
make the work quota has been recognized in this jurisdiction. In the case
at bar, the petitioners' failure to meet the sales quota assigned to each of
them constitute a just cause of their dismissal, regardless of the
permanent or probationary status of their employment. Failure to
observe prescribed standards of work, or to fulfill reasonable
work assignments due to inefficiency may constitute just cause
for dismissal. This management prerogative of requiring standards may
be availed of so long as they are exercised in good faith for the
advancement of the employer's interest.

Mariwasa & Dazzzo v. Leogardo (MOLE PR) & Dequila / GR No.


74246 / 1.26.89 / Groups of Employees - Probationary Employees
282(281) / Narvasa, J p:
F: PR was hired by P under ProB, after such period she was advised that
her performance was unsatisfactory, to give her a chance instead of
dispensing, another 3 months will be added to her ProB. P didnt
improved, she was terminated. Suing, NCR MOLE dismissed her case,
appealing to the MOLE reversing, declaring her already a regular
employee when dismissed. Hence this.
I: WON ProB status may be extended.
R: Petition Granted. MOLE order reversed. It was held in Buiser vs.
Leogardo, 131 SCRA, 151, 156 July 31, 1984, that a stipulation in
an employment contract providing for an eighteen-month
probationary period constitutes a lawful exception to the
statutory prescription limiting such periods to six months. By
voluntarily agreeing to an extension of the probationary period,
Dequila in effect waived any benefit attaching to the completion
of said period if he still failed to make the grade during the
period of extension.
For aught that appears of record, the extension of Dequila's
probation was ex gratia, an act of liberality on the part of his
employer affording him a second chance to make good after
having initially failed to prove his worth as an employee. Such an
act cannot now unjustly be turned against said employer's
account to compel it to keep on its payroll one who could not
perform according to its work standards. The law, surely, was
never meant to produce such an inequitable result.
By voluntarily agreeing to an extension of the probationary period,
Dequila in effect waived any benefit attaching to the completion of said
period if he still failed to make the grade during the period of extension.
The Court finds nothing in the law which by any fair
interpretation prohibits such a waiver. And no public policy
protecting the employee and the security of his tenure is served by
proscribing voluntary agreements which, by reasonably extending the
period of probation, actually improve and further a probationary
employee's prospects of demonstrating his fitness for regular
employment.

Holiday Inn Manila, Liner &or Disquitado v. NLRC & Honasan / GR


No. 109114 / 9.14.93 / Groups of Employees - Probationary
Employees 282(281) / Cruz, J p:
F: Honasan PR was hired as an OJT, after w/c, as an ProB for 6mos. 4 days
(11.8.91) before the end of her ProB she was dismissed on the ground
that she had not come up to the standards of the P Hotel. Suing, LA found
dismissal justified, appealing, NLRC found her to had become a regular
employee then, hence this.
I: WON P had become a Regular Employee.
R: Dismissed. On the issue of illegal dismissal, we find that
Honasan was placed by the petitioner on probation twice, first
during her on-the-job training for three weeks, and next during
another period of six months, ostensibly in accordance with
Article 281. Her probation clearly exceeded the period of six
months prescribed by this article. Even if it be supposed that the
probation did not end with the three-week period of on-the-job
training, there is still no reason why that period should not be
included in the stipulated six-month period of probation. Honasan
was accepted for on-the-job training on April 15, 1991. Assuming that her
probation could be extended beyond that date, it nevertheless could
continue only up to October 15, 1991, after the end of six months from
the earlier date. Under this more lenient approach, she had become a
regular employee of Holiday Inn and acquired full security of tenure as of
October 15, 1991.
Art. 279. Security of Tenure In cases of regular employment, the
employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a
just cause or when authorized by this Title. An employee who is unjustly
dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of
seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of
allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent
computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to
the time of his actual reinstatement. The grounds for the removal of a
regular employee are enumerated in Article 282, 283 and 284 of the
Labor Code. The procedure for such removal is prescribed in Rule XIV,
Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. These rules
were not observed in the case at bar as Honasan was simply told that her
services were being terminated because they were found to be
unsatisfactory. No administrative investigation of any kind was
undertaken to justify this ground.

The policy of the Constitution is to give the utmost protection to


the working class when subjected to such maneuvers as the one
attempted by the petitioners. This Court is fully committed to
that policy and has always been quick to rise in defense of the
rights of labor, as in this case.

De la Cruz v. NLRC, Shemberg Marketing & Dacay / GR No. 14547 /


12.11.03 / Groups of Employees - Probationary Employees
282(281) / Corona, J p:
P was hired (5.27.96) as senior sales manager of PR Co. 4 mos thereafter
(9.16.96), petitioner was dismissed due to his failure to meet the required
company standards and for loss of trust and confidence. P sued for illegal
dismissal contending that he is not a ProB, LA ruled in favour of P. PR
argues that P have abused his employment, using company funds for
private needs, and as such P is still under ProB status. NLRC ruled in
favour of PR, CA Affirmed.
WON P is still a ProB, therefore he may be dismissed for loss of
trust and confidence
R: Affirmed. At the time he was terminated from employment, the
petitioner was a probationary employee and was terminable anytime. His
Letter of Appointment proves it: x x x We are happy to inform
you that you have been hired as Senior Sales Manager VISMIN
effective May 27, 1996. As a matter of company policy your
performance shall be periodically evaluated in accordance with
performance standards set by the company. x x x. [Attached is
the Job Description] w/c states: x x x (5) Performance subject to
evaluation and trial period for six (6) months or more. x x x
A probationary employee is one who, for a given period of time, is under
observation and evaluation to determine whether or not he is qualified for
permanent employment. During the probationary period, the employer is
given the opportunity to observe the skill, competence and attitude of the
employee while the latter seeks to prove to the employer that he has the
qualifications to meet the reasonable standards for permanent
employment. The length of time is immaterial in determining the
correlative rights of both the employer and the employee in
dealing with each other during said period.
There is no dispute that petitioner, as a probationary employee,
enjoyed only temporary employment status. In general terms,
this meant that he was terminable anytime, permanent
employment not having been attained in the meantime. The
employer could well decide he no longer needed the probationary
employee's services or his performance fell short of expectations,
etc. As long as the termination was made before the expiration of
the six-month probationary period, the employer was well within

his rights to sever the employer-employee relationship. A


contrary interpretation would defect the clear meaning of the
term probationary. In this case, respondent Shemberg had good reason
to terminate petitioner's employment and that was his dishonesty.
Petitioner was holding a managerial position in which he was tasked to
perform key functions in accordance with an exacting work ethic. His
position required the full trust and confidence of his employer. While
petitioner could exercise some discretion, this obviously did not cover
acts for his own personal benefit.
CENECO v. NLRC, et al(PRs) / GR No. 106246 / 9.1.94 / Groups of
Employees Regular Employees (280) / Puno, J p:
F: PRs are employees of P varying from 10mos to 4.5 yrs, given
permanency on 7.13.88. P has a CBA with the employees Union granting
its regular employees a P350 increase in their wages from 4.1.87
3.31.90. Among the exceptions were ProBs. PRs were denied of their
demand. After the expiration of the CBA, PRs sued. LA dismissed, NLRC
reversed, assailing that PRs are entitled to the increase because they
became Regular Employees (REs) 6 months after hiring. P claims
prescription. Hence this.
I: WON PRs are covered by the increase.
R: Petition Dismissed. Petitioner denied their demand contending that
excludes "temporary or probationary employees . . . ." Reading Articles
280 and 281 of the Labor Code, providing for regular and casual
employment respectively, it cannot be denied that private
respondents attained the status of regular employees even
before 1988. Firstly, they perform activities which are necessary
or desirable in the usual business of the petitioner as an electric
cooperative. They are meter inspectors, PABX operators, utility
men, disconnectors, linemen, messengers, secretaries, clerks,
typists, plumbers, mechanics, draftsmen, HRD personnel,
collectors and electricians. Indeed, their appointments would not
have been regularized if their jobs were not indispensable in the
daily operation of the petitioner's business. Secondly, they had
worked for petitioner for more than six (6) months before they
were given regular appointments. They had been hired on
various dates starting from 1984.
Articles 280 and 281 of our Labor Code, supra, put an end to the
pernicious practice of making permanent casuals of our lowly

employees by the simple expedient of extending to them


probationary appointments, ad infinitum. Thus, Article 281,
supra, placed a ceiling on probationary employment, i.e., not to
exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started
working. On the other hand, Article 280, supra, defined when an
employment shall be regular notwithstanding any written
agreement to the contrary. In other words, the graduation of an
employee from casual or probationary to regular does not
depend on the arbitrary will of his employer.

De Leon v. NLRC & LA Toeda / GR No. 70705 / 8.21.89 / Groups of


Employees Regular Employees (280) / Fernan, CJ p:
F: P was employed by PR on 12.11.81, working on maintenance, paid
daily. On 1.83, P requested that he be regularized, and be included in the
payroll, instead he was dismissed. Hence the suing. PR claims that P is
not an RE, but as a Casual Employee (CE), and that his work is terminated
upon the completion of his job. LA favoured P, NLRC reversed hence this.
I: WON P is a performing a REs job as a maintenance.
R: Granted.
Article 281 of the Labor Code reinforces the Constitutional
mandate to protect the interest of labor. Its language evidently
manifests the intent to safeguard the tenurial interest of the
worker who may be denied the rights and benefits due a regular
employee by virtue of lopsided agreements with the economically
powerful employer who can maneuver to keep an employee on a
casual status for as long as convenient.
The primary standard of determining a regular employment is the
reasonable connection between the particular activity performed by the
employee in relation to the usual business or trade of the employer.
Also, if the employee has been performing the job for at least
one year, even if the performance is not continuous or merely
intermittent, the law deems the repeated and continuing need
for its performance as sufficient evidence of the necessity if not
indispensability of that activity to the business. Hence, the
employment is also considered regular, but only with respect to
such activity and while such activity exists.
What determines whether a certain employment is regular or
casual is not the will and word of the employer, to which the
desperate worker often accedes, much less the procedure of
hiring the employee or the manner of paying his salary. It is the
nature of the activities performed in relation to the particular business or
trade considering all circumstances, and in some cases the length of time
of its performance and its continued existence.

Kilusan Olalia (PKO) et al, v. Drilon, Kimberly Clark Phils,


UKCEUPTGWO, Rank Manpower (PRRM), et al., / GRs No. 77629 &
78791 / 5.9.1990 / Groups of Employees Regular Employees
(280) / Regalado, J p:
F: PR Co. executed a 3yr CBA with UKCEUPTGWO (Transport and General
Workers Org) w/c expired on 6.30.86, during the negotiations for the
renewal of their CBA, PKO was established, PKO applied for certification,
PR Co and PKO did not object, but objected on the proposition of PKO to
include contractual workers from PRRM. Pendente certification, PKO
striked when P Co dismissed the contractual workers. On 6.2.86 the
certification was granted, and moved for election, UKCEUPTGW won.
Kimberly P Co challenged the votes of 64 casual workers alleging that
they are not employees. PKO protested and motioned to include the votes
of the CEs, P Co. opposed. LA Finally declared such Casuals as REs, P Co.
motioned, MOLE Sec. Drilon affirms, hence this.
I: WON the CEs are regulars.
R: Affirmed. The Art. 280 of the Labor Code thus provides for two kinds of
regular employees, namely: (1) those who are engaged to perform
activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business
or trade of the employer; and (2) those who have rendered at least
one year of service, whether continuous or broken, with respect
to the activity in which they are employed. The individual
petitioners herein who have been adjudged to be regular
employees fall under the second category. These are the
mechanics, electricians, machinists, machine shop helpers,
warehouse helpers, painters, carpenters, pipefitters and masons.
It is not disputed that these workers have been in the employ of
KIMBERLY for more than one year at the time of the filing of the
petition for certification election by KILUSAN-OLALIA. Owing to
their length of service with the company, these workers became
regular employees, by operation of law, one year after they were
employed by KIMBERLY through RANK. The law is explicit. As long
as the employee has rendered at least one year of service, he
becomes a regular employee with respect to the activity in which
he is employed. The law does not provide the qualification that
the employee must first be issued a regular appointment or must
first be formally declared as such before he can acquire a regular
status. Obviously, where the law does not distinguish, no
distinction should be drawn.

As a consequence of their status as regular employees, those workers not


performing janitorial and yard maintenance service were perforce entitled
to the payment of salary differential, cost of living allowance, 13th month
pay, and such other benefits extended to regular employees under the
CBA, from the day immediately following their first year of service in the
company. These regular employees are likewise entitled to vote in the
certification election held in July 1, 1986.
Ferrochrome Phils, Scholsnagel & Weber v. NLRC & Bartsch (PR) /
GR No. 105538 / 9.5.94 / Groups of Employees Regular
Employees (280) / Puno, J p:
F: PR was initially employed as consultant-engineer, and is deployed to RP
as such for P for 3 mos, extendable if agreed. After the 3 months, w/o any
contract, his services were still being engaged. On 7.88 PR was diagnosed
w/ Psychological Disorder, P then granted a vacation leave, from 9.28.88,
he returned on 10.1.88, assumed his position. He was dismissed, w/ intent
to reemploy on 1.30.89. PR sued, LA dismissed citing that after the end of
his contract, he was only engaged by P as a contractual on a monthly
basis, NLRC reversed, hence this.
I: WON PR became an RE, thus there was illegal dismissal.
R: As defined under the law, an employment shall be deemed
regular if the employee performs activities usually necessary or
desirable in the usual business and trade of the employer OR if
the employee has rendered at least one (1) year of service,
whether the service be continuous or broken. Applying these two
(2) tests, we find that contrary to the suppositions of petitioner,
Bartsch was a regular employee of the latter. While the
designation of complainant in the service is denominated as
Consultant Engineer, yet the description of his duties states
otherwise. (T)he complainant under the definition of his power
and duties has been consigned to and relegated to the category
of an ordinary technical staff employee. The term 'consultant' is
merely more of a matter of nomenclature as he is required under the
contract to observe regular office hours. It therefore precludes the hiring
of a mere 'consultant' who is supposed to render part-time service to the
principal employer.
Respondents (petitioners herein) could have terminated complainant from
the service after the lapse of the three (3) months period stipulated in the
Contract of Employment. But management found itself in dire need of the

expertise of complainant that it decided to extend the services of the


latter for an indefinite period which lasted until February 13, 1989 when
one W. Weber representing respondents delivered to complainant the
letter of termination dated January 30, 1989. When he was terminated
from the service, complainant had more than qualified to be a regular
employee. (T)he extent of complainant's services with respondent
cover(ed) substantially a period of one (1) year, more or less, as
admitted by respondents in the (termination) letter of January
30, 1989 . . . when it stated: 'We wish it (sic) to thank you for
your valuable contribution during the past 12 months and hope
that we can resume a similarly fruitful cooperation when our
projects are ready" . . . has invested in him the status of a
regular employee under the second paragraph of Article 280 of
the Labor Code, as amended. Being a regular employee, private
respondent is entitled to security of tenure and his services may be
terminated only for causes provided by law.
Singer Sewing Machines v. Drilon, Chaguile & SIMACUB / GR No.
91307 / 1.24.91 / Groups of Employees Regular Employees /
Guttierrez, J p:
F: On 2.15.89 PR Union filed for certification as P Co.s sole CBA. PCO
opposed assailing that the Union members are not REs, but are ICs,
evidence by their collection agency agreement (CAA), LA found that there
is EER, so did Sec. Drilon of MOLE, hence this.
I: WON said Union Members are REs of P.
R: Granted, MOLEs decision is Reversed and Set Aside, there is no EER.
The Court finds that since private respondents are not employees
of the Company, they are not entitled to the constitutional right
to join or form a labor organization for purposes of collective
bargaining. Accordingly, there is no constitutional and legal basis
for their "union" to be granted their petition for direct
certification.
The last and most important element of the control test is not
satisfied by the terms and conditions of the contracts. There is
nothing in the agreement which implies control by the Company
not only over the end to be achieved but also over the means and
methods in achieving the end (LVN Pictures, Inc. v. Philippine
Musicians Guild, 1 SCRA 132 [1961]). The plain language of the
agreement reveals that the designation as collection agent does not

create an employment relationship and that the applicant is to be


considered at all times as an independent contractor. This is consistent
with the first rule of interpretation that the literal meaning of the
stipulations in the contract controls (Article 1370, Civil Code; La Suerte
Cigar and Cigarette Factory v. Director of Bureau of Labor Relations, 123
SCRA 679 [1983]). No such words as "to hire and employ" are
present. Moreover, the agreement did not fix an amount for
wages nor the required working hours. Compensation is earned
only on the basis of the tangible results produced, i.e., total
collections made (Sarra v. Agarrado, 166 SCRA 625 [1988]). The
collection agent does his work "more or less at his own pleasure"
without a regular daily time frame imposed on him (Investment
Planning Corporation of the Philippines v. Social Security System, 21 SCRA
924 [1967]; See also Social Security System v. Court of Appeals, 30 SCRA
210 [1969]).
The following elements are generally considered in the determination of
the employer-employee relationship; "(1) the selection and engagement
of the employee; (2) the payment of wages; (3) the power of dismissal;
and (4) the power to control the employee's conduct.
Article 280 is not the yardstick for determining the existence of an
employment relationship because it merely distinguishes between two
kinds of employees, i.e., regular employees and casual employees, for
purposes of determining the right of an employee to certain benefits, to
join or form a union, or to security of tenure. Article 280 does not apply
where the existence of an employment relationship is in dispute.
Magsalin & Coca Cola v. NOWM et al. / GR No. 148492 / 5.9.03 /
Groups of Employees Regular Employees / Vitug, J p:
F: PCO hired PRs as workers for a limited period, as substitute to regular
whenever unavailable, after that they were hired on a day-to-day basis,
PRs have worked for atleast a year as sales route helpers, they were later
dismissed, suing. PCO argues that the work assigned to PRS was
postproduction activities, which was not indispensable in the
manufacturing, LA dismissed, CA reversed, hence this.
I: WON PRs acquire regularity of employment w/ PCO.
R: Affirmed, argument unpersuasive. The nature of the work
performed must be viewed from a perspective of the business in
its entirety and not on a confined scope. Here, the Court held
that the repeated rehiring of respondent workers and the

continuing need for their services clearly attested to the


necessity or desirability of their services in the regular conduct
of the business of petitioner Company. While it upheld the legality of
a fixed-term employment, it has done so, however, with a stern
admonition that where from the circumstances it is apparent that the
period has been imposed to preclude the acquisition of tenurial security
by the employee, then it should be struck down as being contrary to law,
morals, good customs, public order and public policy.
It is distinguished from a specific undertaking that is divorced from the
normal activities required in carrying on the particular business or trade.
But, although the work to be performed is only for a specific project or
seasonal, where a person thus engaged has been performing the job for
at least one year, even if the performance is not continuous or is merely
intermittent, the law deems the repeated and continuing need for its
performance as being sufficient to indicate the necessity or desirability of
that activity to the business or trade of the employer. The employment of
such person is also then deemed to be regular with respect to such
activity and while such activity exists.
Any obvious circumvention of the law cannot be countenanced.
The fact that respondent workers have agreed to be employed on
such basis and to forego the protection given to them on their
security of tenure, demonstrate nothing more than the serious
problem of impoverishment of so many of our people and the
resulting unevenness between labor and capital. A contract of
employment is impressed with public interest. The provisions of
applicable statutes are deemed written into the contract, and
"the parties are not at liberty to insulate themselves and their
relationships from the impact of labor laws and regulations by
simply contracting with each other."