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[G.R. No. 212054. March 11, 2015.


Sanchez is a Staff Nurse at St. Luke's Medical Center, Inc. (SLMC). Records reveal that
at the end of her shift on May 29, 2011, Sanchez passed through the SLMC Centralization
Entrance/Exit where she was subjected to the standard inspection procedure by the security
personnel. The Security Guard on-duty, noticed a pouch in her bag and asked her to open the
same. The said pouch contained assortment of medical stocks which were subsequently
confiscated. Sanchez was brought to the SLMC In-House Security Department (IHSD) where
she complied with the directive to write an Incident Report and also submitted an undated
handwritten letter of apology.
An initial investigation was also conducted by the SLMC Division of Nursing which
thereafter served Sanchez a notice to explain. Consequently, Sanchez was placed under
preventive suspension effective June 3, 2011 until the conclusion of the investigation by SLMC's
Employee and Labor Relations Department (ELRD) which, thereafter, required her to explain
why she should not be terminated from service for acts of dishonesty due to her possession of the
questioned items in violation of Section 1, Rule I of the SLMC Code of Discipline. In response,
she submitted a letter, which merely reiterated her claims in her previous letter. She likewise
requested for a case conference, which SLMC granted. After hearing her side, SLMC, on July 4,
2011, informed Sanchez of its decision to terminate her employment effective closing hours of
July 6, 2011. This prompted her to file a complaint for illegal dismissal before the NLRC.
In her position paper, Sanchez maintained her innocence, claiming that she had no
intention of bringing outside the SLMC's premises the questioned items since she merely
inadvertently left the pouch containing them in her bag as she got caught up in work that day.
She further asserted that she could not be found guilty of pilferage since the questioned items
found in her possession were neither SLMC's nor its employees' property. She also stressed the
fact that SLMC did not file any criminal charges against her. Anent her supposed admission in
her handwritten letter, she claimed that she was unassisted by counsel when she executed the
same and, thus, was inadmissible for being unconstitutional.
For its part, SLMC contended that Sanchez was validly dismissed for just cause as she
had committed theft in violation of Section 1, Rule I of the SLMC Code of Discipline, which
punishes acts of dishonesty, i.e., robbery, theft, pilferage, and misappropriation of funds, with
termination from service.
The Labor Arbiter (LA) ruled that Sanchez was validly dismissed for intentionally taking
the property of SLMC's clients for her own personal benefit, which constitutes an act of
dishonesty as provided under SLMC's Code of Discipline. The NLRC reversed and set aside the
LA ruling, and held that Sanchez was illegally dismissed. CA upheld the NLRC, ruling that the
latter did not gravely abuse its discretion in finding that Sanchez was illegally dismissed.

Whether or not respondent Sanchez was illegally dismissed by SLMC.

Article 296 (formerly Article 282) of the Labor Code provides that an employer may
terminate an employment for any of the following causes: (a) serious misconduct or willful
disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or his representative in
connection with his work; xxx
Note that for an employee to be validly dismissed on this ground, the employer's orders,
regulations, or instructions must be: (1) reasonable and lawful, (2) sufficiently known to the
employee, and (3) in connection with the duties which the employee has been engaged to
The Court finds that Sanchez was validly dismissed by SLMC for her willful disregard
and disobedience of Section 1, Rule I of the SLMC Code of Discipline, which reasonably
punishes acts of dishonesty, i.e., "theft, pilferage of hospital or co-employee property, . . . or its
attempt in any form or manner from the hospital, co-employees, doctors, visitors, [and]
customers (external and internal)" with termination from employment. Such act is obviously
connected with Sanchez's work, who, as a staff nurse, is tasked with the proper stewardship of
medical supplies. Significantly, records show that Sanchez made a categorical admission in her
handwritten letter i.e., "[k]ahit alam kong bawal ay nagawa kong [makapag-uwi] ng
gamit" that despite her knowledge of its express prohibition under the SLMC Code of
Discipline, she still knowingly brought out the subject medical items with her. It is apt to clarify
that SLMC cannot be faulted in construing the taking of the questioned items as an act of
dishonesty (particularly, as theft, pilferage, or its attempt in any form or manner) considering that
the intent to gain may be reasonably presumed from the furtive taking of useful property
appertaining to another.
Note that Section 1, Rule 1 of the SLMC Code of Discipline is further supplemented by
the company policy requiring the turn-over of excess medical supplies/items for proper
handling and providing a restriction on taking and bringing such items out of the SLMC
premises without the proper authorization or "pass" from the official concerned, which Sanchez
was equally aware thereof. As it is clear that the company policies subject of this case are
reasonable and lawful, sufficiently known to the employee, and evidently connected with the
latter's work, the Court concludes that SLMC dismissed Sanchez for a just cause.
Finally, the Court finds it inconsequential that SLMC has not suffered any actual damage.
While damage aggravates the charge, its absence does not mitigate nor negate the employee's
liability. Neither is SLMC's non-filing of the appropriate criminal charges relevant to this
analysis. An employee's guilt or innocence in a criminal case is not determinative of the
existence of a just or authorized cause for his or her dismissal. It is well-settled that conviction
in a criminal case is not necessary to find just cause for termination of employment, as in this
case. Criminal and labor cases involving an employee arising from the same infraction are
separate and distinct proceedings which should not arrest any judgment from one to the other.

[ G.R. No. 208321, July 30, 2014 ]


On March 16, 2004, respondent Nowella Reyes was appointed as WUPs University
Treasurer on probationary basis. A little over a year after, she was appointed as full time
University Treasurer. On April 27, 2009, a new WUP Board of Trustees was constituted. Among
its first acts was to engage the services of Nepomuceno Suner & Associates Accounting Firm
(External Auditor) to investigate circulating rumors on alleged anomalies in the contracts entered
into by petitioner and in its finances. They discovered that there were irregularities in the
handling of petitioners finances, mainly, the encashment by its Treasury Department of checks
issued to WUP personnel, a practice purportedly in violation of the imprest system of cash
management, and the encashment of various crossed checks payable to the University Treasurer
by Chinabank despite managements intention to merely have the funds covered thereby
transferred from one of petitioners bank accounts to another. The External Auditors report
embodied the following findings and recommendations: Treasury Department (Cash

Whether or not respondent was illegally dismissed by petitioner on the ground of loss of
trust and confidence.
No, respondent was legally dismissed due to loss of trust and confidence as a valid
ground for termination. As provided in Art. 282(c) of Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise
known as the Labor Code of the Philippines: Article 282. Termination by employer. An
employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes: x x x x c. Fraud or
willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized
representative; As the case explains: Article 282 (c) of the Labor Code allows an employer to
terminate the services of an employee for loss of trust and confidence. Certain guidelines must be
observed for the employer to terminate an employee for loss of trust and confidence. It was also
mentioned that loss of confidence should not be simulated. It should not be used as a subterfuge
for causes which are improper, illegal, or unjustified. Loss of confidence may not be arbitrarily
asserted in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It must be genuine, not a mere
afterthought to justify earlier action taken in bad faith.
The first requisite for dismissal on the ground of loss of trust and confidence is that the
employee concerned must be one holding a position of trust and confidence. Respondents
employment classification is immaterial in light of her proven willful breach. There is no doubt
that respondent held a position of trust; thus, greater fidelity is expected of her. She was not an
ordinary rank-and-file employee but an employee occupying a very sensitive position. As
University Treasurer, she handled and supervised all monetary transactions and was the highest
custodian of funds belonging to WUP. To be sure, in the normal exercise of her functions, she
regularly handled significant amounts of money of her employer and managed a critical
department. The presence of the first requisite is certain. So is as regards the second requisite.
Indeed, the Court finds that petitioner adequately proved respondents dismissal was for a just
cause, based on a willful breach of trust and founded on clearly established facts as required by
In this case, let it be remembered that respondent was not an ordinary rank-and-file
employee as she was no less the Treasurer who was in charge of the coffers of the University. It
would be oppressive to require petitioner to retain in their management an officer who has
admitted to knowingly and intentionally committing acts which jeopardized its finances and who
was untrustworthy in the handling and custody of University funds.
[G.R. No. 198620, 12 November 2014]


Complainant Flordeliz Velayo filed a Labor Complaint for illegal dismissal, among
others, against her employer defendant P.J. Lhuillier, Inc. Previously, complainant was hired as
Accounting Clerk. Sometime after, she was served with a Show Cause Memo ordering her to
explain her side against the charges wherein an overage amount of P540.00 was not reported
immediately by her to the supervisor nor was it recorded at the end of that day. She sent a written
reply admitting her inability to report the overage as her supervisor was on leave and she was
still tracing the overage, and said that it was a simple mistake without intent to defraud the
company. After the investigation, the company dismissed her on grounds of serious misconduct
and breach of trust.

Whether or not the respondent was lawfully dismissed

The complaint was dismissed. It is a well established rule that the nature or extent of the
penalty imposed on an erring employee must be commensurate to the gravity of the offense as
weighed against the degree of responsibility and trust expected of the employees position. On
the other hand, the respondent is not just charged with a misdeed, but with loss of trust and
confidence under Article 282(c) of the Labor Code, a cause premised on the fact that the
employee holds a position whose functions may only be performed by someone who enjoys the
trust and confidence of management. Needless to say, such an employee bears a greater burden
of trustworthiness than ordinary workers, and the betrayal of the trust reposed is the essence of
the loss of trust and confidence which is a ground for the employees dismissal.
PJLI is not limited to its pawnshop operations. PJLI also offers its Pera Padala cash
remittance service whereby, for a fee or sending charge, a customer may remit money to a
consignee through its network of pawnshop branches all over the country. While there is no
significant financial injury was sustained by PJLI in the loss of a mere P540.00 in cash, it should
be pointed out that she held a position of utmost trust and confidence in the company.
There are certain position in the company that enjoy trust. There are two classes of
corporate positions of trust: on the one hand are the managerial employees whose
primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which they are
employed or of a department or a subdivision thereof, and other officers or members of
the managerial staff; on the other hand are the fiduciary rank-and-file employees, such as
cashiers, auditors, property custodians, or those who, in the normal exercise of their
functions, regularly handle significant amounts of money or property. These employees,
though rank-and-file, are routinely charged with the care and custody of the employers money
or property, and are thus classified as occupying positions of trust and confidence.
It should also be noted that the following are the requirements to be complied in order
that an employer may invoke loss of trust and confidence in terminating an employee under
Article 282(c) of the Labor Code: (1) the employee must be holding a position of trust and
confidence; and (2) there must be an act that would justify the loss of trust and confidence. While
loss of trust and confidence should be genuine, it does not require proof beyond reasonable
doubt, it being sufficient that there is some basis to believe that the employee concerned is
responsible for the misconduct and that the nature of the employees participation therein
rendered him unworthy of trust and confidence demanded by his position.
Here, the employer was fully justified in claiming loss of trust and confidence in the
employee. While it is natural and understandable that the respondent should feel apprehensive
about Tulings reaction concerning her cash overage, considering that it was their first time to be
working together in the same branch, we must keep in mind that the unaccounted cash can only
be imputed to the respondents own negligence in failing to keep track of the transaction from
which the money came. A subsequent branch audit revealed that it came from a Pera Padala
remittance, implying that although the amount had been duly remitted to the consignee, the
sending branch failed to record the payment received from the consigning customer. For days
following the overage, the respondent tried but failed to reconcile her records, and for this inept
handling of a Pera Padala remittance, she already deserved to be sanctioned.
Under the Article 282 of the Labor Code, an employer is allowed to dismiss an
employee for willful breach of trust or loss of confidence. It has been held that a special
and unique employment relationship exists between a corporation and its cashier. Truly, more
than most key positions, that of a cashier calls for utmost trust and confidence, and it is the
breach of this trust that results in an employers loss of confidence in the employee.
In dismissing a cashier on the ground of loss of confidence, it is sufficient that there is
some basis for the same or that the employer has a reasonable ground to believe that the
employee is responsible for the misconduct, thus making him unworthy of the trust and
confidence reposed in him. Therefore, if there is sufficient evidence to show that the employer
has ample reason to distrust the employee, the labor tribunal cannot justly deny the employer the
authority to dismiss him. Indeed, employers are allowed wider latitude in dismissing an
employee for loss of trust and confidence it must also be stressed that only substantial
evidence is required in order to support a finding that an employers trust and confidence
accorded to its employee had been breached.
Lastly, misappropriation of company funds, notwithstanding that the shortage has been
restituted, is a valid ground to terminate the services of an employee for loss of trust and
confidence. It should be pointed out that it is immaterial what the respondents intent was
concerning the missing fund, for the undisputed fact is that cash which she held in trust for the
company was missing in her custody. At the very least, she was negligent and failed to meet the
degree of care and fidelity demanded of her as cashier. Her excuses and failure to give a
satisfactory explanation for the missing cash only gave the petitioners sufficient reason to lose
confidence in her.