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[LOPEZ] G.R. No. 194884 October 22, 2014 10. Hence, this present petition.

10. Hence, this present petition. Imasen argues that the act of sexual
IMASEN PHILIPPINE MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, petitioner, intercourse inside company premises during work hours is serious
Vs. RAMONCHITO T. ALCON, and JOANN S. PAPA, respondents misconduct by whatever standard, as it is an affront to tis core values
and high ethical work standards. Imasen points out that CA, in
Topic: Definition and Scope of Management Prerogatives (MP) prescribing a lower penalty, substituted its own judgment with
Imasens own legally protected management prerogatives. Also,
Facts: Imasen argues that the award for backwages would make
1. Imasen Philippine Manufacturing Corporation (Imasen Corp.) is a respondents virtually GAIN from the infraction as they would be paid
domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture of auto seat- 8 years of wages without rendering any service.
recliners and slide-adjusters. It hired Ramonchito Alcon and Joann 11. Respondents argue that the elements of serious misconduct that
Papa (Respondents) as manual welders in 2001. justifies an employees dismissal are absent.
2. Respondents reported for work on the night shift. At around 12:40
AM, Cyrus Altiche, Imasen Corps security guard, went on patrol Issue/s: Whether the respondents infraction amounts to serious misconduct
around the premises. When Altiche reached the Press Area, he within the terms of Article 296 (Art. 282 before) of the Labor Code justifying a
heard the sound of a running industrial fan. Intending to turn it off, he valid cause for their dismissal
followed the sound, which led him to the Tool and Die section.
3. At the Tool and Die section, Altiche saw respondents having sexual Held: Yes. Respondents infraction amounts to a valid cause for dismissal.
intercourse on the floor using a carton as a matress. Altiche reported
such to Danilo Ogana, another security guard. Preliminary Considerations: Management Prerogatives
4. Danila Ogana went to make a follow-up inspection and saw several 1. Law and jurisprudence guarantee to every employee security of
employees, including respondents, already leaving the area. He tenure. Courts will not hesitate to strike down any invalid act of the
notices, however, that Alcon picked up the carton that Altiche employer to undermine workers tenurial security, in accordance with
claimed was used as mattress, and returned it where cartons were social justice principles.
kept. Altiche then reported such to Imasens management. 2. The law, however, does not authorize the oppression of the
5. Imasen informed the respondents of Altiches report and directed employer. Constitutional and legal protection equally recognize the
them to submit there individual explanation. The respondents empoyers right and prerogative to manage its operation according o
compied, claiming that they were merely sleeping. They claimed that reasonable standards and norms for fair play.
other employees were also near the area, making it impossible to 3. Accordingly, an employer is free to regulate, according to his own
commit the act. judgement and discretion, all aspects of employment, including
6. Imasen then conducted a formal hearing, with respondents present, hiring, working methods, processes, working regulations, the
on the administrative charge against them. After two months, Imasen discipline, dismissal of workers, etc. As a general proposition, an
terminated the services of respondents, finding them guilty of the act employer has free reign over every aspect of its business, as long as
charged, considering it gross misconduct against the policies, rules the exercise of management prerogative is done reasonably, in good
and regulations. faith, and in a manner not otherwise intended to defeat or circumvent
7. Respondents filed before the LA a complaint for illegal dismissal. LA the rights of workers.
dismissed the complaint finding the dismissal to be valid. La gave 4. In this light, the Courts task is to balance such conflicting rights of
weight to Altiches account, which Ogana corroborated, over the respondents security of tenure, and Imasens management
respondents mere denial. prerogative.
8. NLRC affirmed the LA decision, declaring that Imasen substantially
and convincingly proved the dismissal is of just cause. Elements of Serious Misconduct for a Just Cause for Dismissal
9. CA partially agreed with the labor tribunals ruling, but held that the 5. According to Art. 296 of the labor Code, serious misconduct by the
repsondents act, while provoked by reckless passion in an inviting employee justifies the employer terminating his or her employment.
environment and time, was not done with wrongful intent or with 6. Misconduct is defined as an improper or wrong conduct. It implies
grave/aggravated character. Hence, CA reduced the penalty to a wrongful intent, and not mere error in judgement. To constitute a
three month suspension, and ordered Imasen to reinstate valid cause of dismissal under Art. 296, the following elements must
respondents and pay backwages. be present:
a. the misconduct must be serious (of such grave and
aggravated character and not merely trivial or unimportant)
b. it must relate to the performance of the employers duties
showing that the employee has become unfit to continue
working for the employer, and
c. it must have been performed with wrongful intent

Supreme Courts Ruling


7. NLRC is correct in affirming the respondents dismissal.
8. Sexuall acts between two consenting adults belong to the realm of
purely private relations. Wthether aroused by lust or sincere
affection, such acts should be carried out when and where it will not
offend public decency nor disturb accepted social morals. As such,
sexual acts between two adults have no place in the work
environment.
9. The facts itself are already punishable misconduct. Respondents did
not only disregard company rules but flaunted their disregard in a
manner that could reflect adversely on the status of ethics and
morality in the company.
10. Additionally, respondents engaged in sexual intercourse in an area
where company personnel have ready and available access, and
when such personnel are, in fact, working.
11. Hence, respondents misconduct are to be considered grave and
aggravated in character so the company was justified in imposing
dismissal. By their misconduct, they issued an open invitation for
others to commit the same infraction. Taken together, these
considerations reveal a depraved disposition that the Court
considered as a valid cause for dismissal.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The CA decision is REVERSED


and NLRC decision is REINSTATED.