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RES JUDICATA

Lady Lydia Cornista-Domingo,et al. vs.NLRC


G.R. No. 156761,October 17, 2006

FACTS:
The union filed a petition charging the Bank with ULP. The LA dismissed the
cases for lack of merit, but was reversed by the NLRC on appeal. While the
resolution of the appeal was pending, the parties entered into Compromise
Agreement. A substantial majority of the members of the Union ratified the
compromise agreement, which agreement was also approved by the LA. A
number of the employees, in separate appeals to the NLRC, contested the
foregoing Order of the LA. They argued that the compromise agreement is
contrary to law and jurisprudence. The CA denied the appeal on the ground of
res judicata.

ISSUE:
Whether the compromise agreement constitutes res judicata.

RULING:
YES. Here, the petitioners and other employees legally separated were in fact
given termination or separation pay despite the staggering loss sustained by
the Bank. They were given a very good bargain in the compromise
agreement. They, therefore, have no reason to complain. Without the subject
compromise agreement, they would not have received any separation pay.
Records reveal that when the Bank offered termination or separation pay to its
remaining employees by way of a compromise agreement, a great majority
of them accepted the amount as justifiable settlement of their claims. Like
these quitclaims and releases, there are voluntary agreements which
represent reasonable settlements and are considered binding on the parties.
In law, a compromise agreement, once approved, has the effect of res
judicata between the parties and should not be disturbed except for vices of
consent, forgery, fraud, misrepresentation and coercion none of which exists
in this case. The Compromise Agreement between the Union and the Bank
binds the minority Union members.
ABANDONMENT

Aboitiz Haulers, Inc., vs Monaorai Dimapatoi, et al.


G. R. No. 148619, September 19, 2006

FACTS:
Petitioner alleges that on 9 May 1996, the respondents left the warehouse
and did not report to work thereafter. As a result of the respondents’ sudden
abandonment of their work, there was no orderly and proper turnover of
papers and other company property in connection with the termination of the
Written Contract for Services. Respondents allege that on 15 May 1996,
petitioner dismissed them on the pretext that the Written Contract of Service
between Grigio and the petitioner had been terminated. To controvert the
allegations of the petitioner that respondents did not report for work starting 9
May 1996, the respondents presented a copy of the pertinent pages of the
logbook which served as their daily time record.

ISSUE:
Whether the respondents were lawfully dismissed due to abandonment

RULING:
Petitioner’s allegation that respondents abandoned their work is therefore
devoid of legal and factual bases. The Court has repeatedly held that
abandonment as a just and valid ground for dismissal requires the deliberate
and unjustified refusal of the employee to resume his employment. Mere
absence of failure to report for work, after notice to return, is not enough to
amount to such abandonment. For a valid finding of abandonment, two factors
must be present: (1) the failure to report for work or absence without valid or
justifiable reason; and (2) a clear intention to sever employer-employee
relationship, with the second element as the more determinative factor being
manifested by some overt acts. In abandonment, there must be a
concurrence of the intention to abandon and some overt acts from which an
employee may be deduced as having no more intention to work. The burden
of proof to show that there was unjustified refusal to return to work rests on
the employer. Petitioner, however, failed to prove this.
DISTINCTION ON THE TREATMENT OF TRUST AND CONFIDENCE ON
MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEE/S AND RANK-AND-FILE EMPLOYEES

Felix M. Cruz, Jr., vs Court of Appeals,


G.R. NO. 148544, July 12, 2006
FACTS:
Cruz, an employee of private respondent Citytrust, held the confidential
position therein. Due to feedbacks of certain irregularities being committed in
the bidding and purchase of computers, an area within his responsibilities. A
special investigation was conducted and it was found out that indeed there
were unauthorized and unreported commissions and rebates given out by
one of its computer suppliers for purchases made by Citytrust. Citytrust sent a
show-cause memorandum to Cruz placing him under a 30-day preventive
suspension, and the Ad Hoc Committee heard the matter, and found Cruz
guilty of fraud, serious misconduct, gross dishonesty. Aggrieved, Cruz filed
before the LA an action for Illegal Dismissal.

ISSUE:
Whether there is illegal dismissal.

RULING:
YES. Petitioner was dismissed from employment on the ground, among
others, of loss of trust and confidence. Loss of trust and confidence, as a valid
ground for dismissal, must be substantiated by evidence. With respect to
rank-and-file personnel, loss of trust and confidence as ground for valid
dismissal requires proof of involvement in the alleged events in question, and
that mere uncorroborated assertions and accusations by the employer will not
be sufficient. But as regards a managerial employee, the mere existence of a
basis for believing that such employee has breached the trust of his employer
would suffice for his dismissal. Hence, in the case of managerial employees,
proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required, it being sufficient that there is
some basis for such loss of confidence, such as when the employer has
reasonable ground to believe that the employee concerned is responsible for
the purported misconduct, and the nature of his participation therein renders
him unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded by his position. There is
no dispute that petitioner is a confidential employee.
Serious Misconduct
Lakpue Drug Inc., et. al. vs. Ma. Lourdes Belga
G.R. No. 166379, October 20, 2005

FACTS:
Tropical hired Belga as bookkeeper and subsequently promoted as assistant
cashier. Belga brought her daughter to the PGH for treatment. While at the
PGH, Belga who was pregnant experienced labor pains and gave birth on the
same day. Two days after giving birth, Tropical summoned Belga to report for
work but the latter replied that she could not comply because of her situation.
On March 30, 2001, Tropical sent Belga another memorandum ordering her to
report for work and also informing her of the clarificatory conference
scheduled on April 2, 2001. Belga requested that the conference be moved to
April 4, 2001 as her newborn was scheduled for check-up on April 2, 2001.
When Belga attended the clarificatory conference on April 4, 2001, she was
informed of her dismissal effective that day.

ISSUE:
Whether there was illegal dismissal

RULING:
Yes. We have defined misconduct as a transgression of some established and
definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character,
and implies wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment. The misconduct to
be serious must be of such grave and aggravated character and not merely
trivial and unimportant. Such misconduct, however serious, must,
nevertheless, be in connection with the employees work to constitute just
cause for his separation.
Belgas failure to formally inform Tropical of her pregnancy cannot be
considered as grave misconduct directly connected to her work as to
constitute just cause for her separation.
Employee’s Absence
ALBERTO NAVARRO vs COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS
G.R. No. 162583, June 8, 2007

FACTS:
Petitioner did not report to work because of heavy rains which flooded the
entire barangay where he resided. In a Memorandum, he was required to
explain in writing within 24 hours why no disciplinary action should be
imposed on him for his tenth absence without permission. In response,
petitioner submitted a written explanation accompanied by a Certification from
his Barangay Captain, stating that his absence was due to heavy rains and
subsequent flooding that hit his barangay. Despite his compliance and
explanation, petitioner was dismissed.

ISSUE:
Whether there was illegal dismissal.

RULING:
Yes. His absence was due to a fortuitous event outside of petitioner’s control.
Petitioner had no wrongful, perverse or even negligent attitude, intended to
defy the order of his employer when he absented himself. He did so because
heavy rains flooded their residential area which was along the railroad. A
worker cannot be reasonably expected to anticipate times of sickness nor
emergency. Hence, to require prior notice of such times would be absurd. He
can only give proper notice after the occurrence of the event which is what
petitioner did in this case.
Submission of Medical Certificate
ROQUE S. DUTERTE vs KINGSWOOD TRADING CO., INC., FILEMON LIM
and NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION G.R. No. 160325,
October 4, 2007

FACTS:
Petitioner had his first heart attack and was confined for two weeks at the
PHC. This was confirmed by KTC which admitted that petitioner was declared
on sick leave with corresponding notification. A month later, petitioner returned
to work armed with a medical certificate signed by his attending physician at
the PHC, attesting to petitioner’s fitness to work. However, said certificate was
not honored by the respondents who refused to allow petitioner to work.

ISSUE:
Whether there was illegal dismissal.

RULING:

Yes. The law is unequivocal: the employer, before it can legally dismiss its
employee on the ground of disease, must adduce a certification from a
competent public authority that the disease of which its employee is suffering
is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of
six months even with proper treatment. Here, the record does not contain the
required certification. And when the respondents asked the petitioner to look
for another job because he was unfit to work, such unilateral declaration, even
if backed up by the findings of its company doctors, did not meet the quantum
requirement mandated by the law, i.e., there must be a certification by
a competent public authority.

Just Causes – Abandonment


VICTORY LINER, INC vs PABLO M. RACE
G.R. No. 164820, March 28, 2007

FACTS:
Petitioner insisted that respondent had already abandoned his work and
ceased to be its employee since November 1994; that the alleged "pay slip"
for the period August 1-15, 1998 was not actually a pay slip but a mere cash
advance/monetary aid extended to the respondent as the large amount of
₱65,000.00 stated therein was clearly inconsistent and disproportionate to the
respondent’s low salary of ₱192.00 a day; that the petitioner merely
accommodated the respondent as its former employee when the latter
consulted the petitioner’s physician on 28 October 1996 and 21 July 1997;
that the respondent’s letter dated 18 March 1996 to the petitioner’s Vice-
President was only an application for the position of dispatcher or conductor
and that such application was not granted; and that the foregoing
circumstances cannot be considered as an indication of employer-employee
relationship between the petitioner and respondent.

ISSUE:
Whether there was illegal dismissal.

RULING:
Yes. As to the alleged abandonment of work by the respondent on 10
November 1994, it should be emphasized that two factors must be present in
order to constitute an abandonment: (a) the failure to report for work or
absence without valid or justifiable reason; and (2) a clear intention to sever
employer-employee relationship. The second factor is the more determinative
factor and is manifested by overt acts from which it may be deduced that the
employee has no more intention to work. The intent to discontinue the
employment must be shown by clear proof that it was deliberate and
unjustified. Mere absence from work does not imply abandonment.

Dishonesty
ARLYN D. BAGO vs NLRC
G.R. No. 170001, April 4, 2007

FACTS:
Arlyn raises in her petition the lack of "further" investigation "despite her
insistent denial of the charge," and the lack of opportunity to cross-examine
the witnesses whose statements were submitted by Celia to prove her charge
of rumor-mongering. Furthermore, Arlyn complains that after the NLRC
reversed the Labor Arbiter’s decision, respondents "unilaterally discontinued
her reinstatement pending appeal contrary to prevailing laws and
jurisprudence."

ISSUE:
Whether Arlyn was illegally dismissed.

RULING:
No. employers are allowed a wide latitude of discretion in terminating the
employment of managerial personnel or those who, while not of similar rank,
perform functions which by their nature require the employer’s full trust and
confidence. Proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required. It is sufficient that
there is some basis for loss of confidence, such as when the employer has
reasonable ground to believe that the employee concerned is responsible for
the purported misconduct, and the nature of his participation therein renders
him unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded by his position. This must
be distinguished from the case of ordinary rank-and-file employees, whose
termination on the basis of these same grounds requires a higher proof of
involvement in the events in question; mere uncorroborated assertions and
accusations by the employer will not suffice.

Constructive Dismissal
MERCK SHARP AND DOHME (PHILIPPINES) v. JONAR P. ROBLES, et al.,
G.R. No. 176506, November 25, 2009

FACTS:
MSD is adamant that the CA erred in not characterizing the work
reassignment of respondent Cristobal as falling within the ambit of
management prerogative and, thus, beyond challenge. In addition, MSD
postulates that the work reassignment of medical representatives, such as
respondent Cristobal, is not only dictated by the nature of the work, but is,
more importantly, written in the employment contract.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent Cristobal was constructively dismissed by petitioner
MSD.

RULING:
Yes. Time and again we have ruled that in constructive dismissal cases, the
employer has the burden of proving that the transfer of an employee is for just
and valid grounds, such as genuine business necessity. The employer must
demonstrate that the transfer is not unreasonable, inconvenient, or prejudicial
to the employee and that the transfer does not involve a demotion in rank or a
diminution of salary and other benefits. If the employer fails to overcome this
burden of proof, the employees transfer is tantamount to unlawful constructive
dismissal.

Arsenio T. Mendiola vs CA
G.R. No. 159333,July 31, 2006
FACTS:
Petitioner argues that he is an industrial partner of the partnership he formed
with private respondent Pacfor, and also an employee of the partnership.
Petitioner insists that an industrial partner may at the same time be an
employee of the partnership, provided there is such an agreement, which, in
this case, is the "Side Agreement" and the "Revised Operating and Profit
Sharing Agreement." The Court of Appeals denied the appeal of petitioner,
holding that "the legal basis of the complaint is not employment but perhaps
partnership, co-ownership, or independent contractorship." Hence, the Labor
Code cannot apply.

ISSUE:
Whether Petitioner was constructively dismissed.

RULING:
Yes. Although there is no reduction of the salary of petitioner, constructive
dismissal is still present because continued employment of petitioner is
rendered, at the very least, unreasonable. There is an act of clear
discrimination, insensibility or disdain by the employer that continued
employment may become so unbearable on the part of the employee so as to
foreclose any choice on his part except to resign from such employment.

Illegal Dismissal
ST. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER, INC v. ESTRELITO NOTARIO
G.R. No. 152166, October 20, 2010

FACTS:
Petitioners allege that, by not focusing the CCTV cameras on the different
areas of the hospital, respondent committed gross negligence which warrants
his dismissal. According to them, there was no need to prove that the act
done was habitual, as the occurrence of the theft exposed them to possible
law suit and, additionally, there might be a repetition of a similar incident in the
future if respondent would remain in their employ. Respondent maintains that
he was not negligent in the discharge of his duties. He said that there was no
actual loss to petitioner hospital as no complaint or legal action was taken
against them and that the supposed complainant, Tibon, did not even report
the matter to the police authorities.

Issue:
Whether Notario was illegally dismissed.

RULING:
Yes. To effectuate a valid dismissal from employment by the employer, the
Labor Code has set twin requirements, namely: (1) the dismissal must be for
any of the causes provided in Article 282 of the Labor Code; and (2) the
employee must be given an opportunity to be heard and defend himself. This
first requisite is referred to as the substantive aspect, while the second is
deemed as the procedural aspect. An employer can terminate the services of
an employee only for valid and just causes which must be supported by clear
and convincing evidence. The employer has the burden of proving that the
dismissal was indeed for a valid and just cause.

Procedural Due Process


Romeo C. Cadiz, CarlitoBongkingki and Prisco Gloria IV vs. Court of Appeals
and Philippine Commercial International Bank (Now Equitable PCIBank)
G. R. No. 153784, October 25, 2005

FACTS:
Cadiz et al ere employed as signature verifier, bookkeeper, and foreign
currency denomination clerk/bookkeeper-reliever, respectively, in respondent
bank. Alqueza filed a complaint with PCIB for the alleged non-receipt of a
$600.00 emand draft drawn against it which was purchased by her husband
from Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Cadiz et al verbally
admitted their participation in a scheme to divert funds intended for other
accounts using the Savings Account of Alfiscar. The bank after notices and
hearing dismissed petitioners.

ISSUE:
Whether Petitioners were illegally dismissed.

RULING:
No. Records show that respondent bank complied with the two-notice rule
prescribed in Article 277(b) of the Labor Code. The bank had reason to
conclude that the imminence of the threat posed by the employees was not as
vital as it would have been had the dubious account still been open. we affirm
the conclusion that petitioners were dismissed for just cause. Loss of trust and
confidence is one of the just causes for termination by employer under Article
282 of the Labor Code. The breach of trust must be willful, meaning it must be
done intentionally, knowingly, and purposely, without justifiable excuse.
Ideally, loss of confidence applies only to cases involving employees
occupying positions of trust and confidence or to those situations where the
employee is routinely charged with the care and custody of the employers
money or property. Utmost trust and confidence are deemed to have been
reposed on petitioners by virtue of the nature of their work.

Effect of non-compliance to procedural due process


DAP Corporation, Felix Pineda, President, and Densil Pineda,
General Manager, vs. CA and Maureen Marcial, G.R. No.
165811,December 14, 2005

FACTS:
DAP claims that it notified its employees of the termination of their
employments by reason of redundancy. On July 28, 2001, DAP paid their
wages and asked them to sign the payslips. It likewise informed them that
they would be paid their separation pay in installments because of liquidity
problems. The checks representing the separation pay were issued to the
employees.

ISSUE:
Whether there was lack of due process.

RULING:
Yes. Thus, we have held that the employer must comply with the following
requisites to ensure the validity of the redundancy program: 1) a written notice
served on both the employees and the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) at least one month prior to the intended date of retrenchment; 2)
payment of separation pay equivalent to at least one month pay or at least
one month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher; 3) good faith in
abolishing the redundant positions; and 4) fair and reasonable criteria in
ascertaining what positions are to be declared redundant and accordingly
abolished. The employees actual knowledge of the termination of DAPs
distributorship agreement with IDP is not sufficient to replace the formal and
written notice required by the law. In the written notice, the employees are
informed of the specific date of the termination, at least a month prior to the
date of effectivity, to give them sufficient time to make necessary
arrangements. In this case, notwithstanding the employees knowledge of the
cancellation of the distributorship agreement, they remained uncertain about
the status of their employment when DAP failed to formally inform them about
the redundancy.

Retirement
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and AIDA M. QUIJANO v.
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. G.R. No. 123294, October 20, 2010

FACTS:
An investigating committee formally charged Quijano as Manager-ASAD in
connection with the processing and payment of commission claims to Goldair
wherein PAL overpaid commissions to the latter amounting to several million
Australian dollars during the period 1984-1987. Specifically, Quijano was
charged as Manager-ASAD for failure on the job and gross negligence
resulting in loss of trust and confidence. The LA dismissed the complaint. But
the NLRC reversed the LA and ordered PAL to pay retirement pay.

ISSUE:
Whether the NLRC erred in granting retirement pay.

RULING:
Yes. We do not agree with the NLRC that private respondents
separation pay should be awarded in accordance with PALs Special
Retirement & Separation Program dated February 15, 1988 plus ten percent
(10%) of the total amount by way of attorneys fees. rivate respondent was not
separated from petitioners employ due to mandatory or optional retirement
but, rather, by termination of employment for a just cause. Thus, any
retirement pay provided by PALs Special Retirement & Separation Program
dated February 15, 1988 or, in the absence or legal inadequacy thereof, by
Article 287 of the Labor Code does not operate nor can be made to operate
for the benefit of private respondent. Even private respondents assertion that,
at the time of her lawful dismissal, she was already qualified for retirement
does not aid her case because the fact remains that private respondent was
already terminated for cause thereby rendering nugatory any entitlement to
mandatory or optional retirement pay that she might have previously
possessed.

Rule on Technicality
Jaime H. Ballao vs Court of Appeals,
G.R. No. 162342,October 11, 2006

FACTS:
After investigation, Chinabank found petitioner Ballao guilty of (1) serious
misconduct; (2) fraud or willful breach of trust reposed in him by Chinabank;
(3) stealing or attempting to steal from the bank or from others within the
premises; and (4) falsifying bank records or documents and tampering bank
equipment or facilities for the purpose of defrauding the bank or committing a
dishonest act. Chinabank terminated Ballao’s services. Seasonably, petitioner
filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. The LA found the termination illegal, but
was reversed by the NLRC on appeal. Ballao filed a Motion for
Reconsideration but was denied for failure to file within the reglementary
period.

ISSUE:
Whether the Motion was properly denied.

RULING:
No. Time and again, we have said the lack of verification is merely a formal
defect that is neither jurisdictional nor fatal. In a proper case, the court may
order the correction of the pleading or act on the unverified pleading, if the
attending circumstances are such that strict compliance with the rule may be
dispensed with in order to serve the ends of justice. It should be stressed that
rules of procedure are merely tools designed to facilitate the attainment of
justice. They were conceived and promulgated to effectively aid the court in
the dispensation of justice. Courts cannot be enslaved by technical rules,
shorn of judicial discretion. In rendering justice, courts have always been, as
they ought to be, conscientiously guided by the norm that on the balance,
technicalities take a backseat vis-à-vis substantive rights, and not the other
way around. Thus, if the application of the Rules would tend to frustrate rather
than promote justice, it is always within the Court’s power to suspend the
rules or except a particular case from its operation. This is more so in labor
cases where social justice should be emphasized. In light of the
circumstances of this case, we find that the lack of verification may be
excused, so that the case could be decided on its merits.
Temporary off–detail
EAGLE STAR SECURITY SERVICES, INC. v. BONIFACIO L. MIRANDO
G.R. No. 179512, July 30, 2009

FACTS:
Petitioner reiterates that it did not dismiss respondent who, so it claims,
voluntarily separated himself from the service by refusing to report for work.
Petitioner argues that respondent was on temporary off-detail, the period of
time a security guard is made to wait until he is transferred or assigned to a
new post or client. And since petitioners business is primarily dependent on
contracts entered into with third parties, the temporary off-detail of respondent
does not amount to dismissal as long as the period does not exceed 6
months.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent was illegally dismissed.

RULING:
Yes. Petitioners citation of Article 286 of the Labor Code is misplaced. We
stress that Article 286 applies only when there is a bonafide suspension of the
employers operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding
six (6) months. In such a case, there is no termination of employment but only
a temporary displacement of employees, albeit the displacement should not
exceed six (6) months. The paramount consideration should be the dire
exigency of the business of the employer that compels it to put some of its
employees temporarily out of work. In security services, the temporary off-
detail of guards takes place when the security agency’s clients decide not to
renew their contracts with the security agency, resulting in a situation where
the available posts under its existing contracts are less than the number of
guards in its roster. In the present case, there is no showing that there was
lack of available posts at petitioners clients or that there was a request from
the client-bank, where respondent was last posted and which continued to
hire petitioners services, to replace respondent with another. Petitioner
suddenly prevented him from reporting on his tour of duty at the bank
on December 15, 2001 and had not thereafter asked him to report for duty.

Security of Tenure of Probationary Employee


SHS PERFORATED MATERIALS, INC., WINFRIED HARTMANNSHENN,
and HINRICH JOHANN SCHUMACHER v. MANUEL F. DIAZ, G.R. No.
185814, October 13, 2010

FACTS:
On November 29, 2005, Hartmannshenn instructed Taguiang not to release
respondents salary. Later that afternoon, respondent called and inquired
about his salary. Taguiang informed him that it was being withheld and that he
had to immediately communicate with Hartmannshenn. Again, respondent
denied having received such directive. The next day, on November 30, 2005,
respondent served on SHS a demand letter and a resignation letter.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent was constructively dismissed.

RULING:
It is worthy to note that in his resignation letter, respondent cited
petitioners illegal and unfair labor practice as his cause for resignation. As
correctly noted by the CA, respondent lost no time in submitting his
resignation letter and eventually filing a complaint for illegal dismissal just a
few days after his salary was withheld. These circumstances are inconsistent
with voluntary resignation and bolster the finding of constructive dismissal.
Respondent was constructively dismissed and, therefore, illegally
dismissed. Although respondent was a probationary employee, he was still
entitled to security of tenure. Section 3 (2) Article 13 of the Constitution
guarantees the right of all workers to security of tenure. In using the
expression all workers, the Constitution puts no distinction between a
probationary and a permanent or regular employee. This means that
probationary employees cannot be dismissed except for cause or for failure to
qualify as regular employees.
CENTRAL PANGASINAN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., vs NLRC, G.R.
No. 163561, July 24, 2007

FACTS:
Upon investigation, it appeared that Cagampan knowingly entered into an
unauthorized contract for the installation of a transformer, and that he was not
authorized to accept payment. Hence, Cagampan was found guilty of violating
CENPELCOs Code of Ethics and Discipline, namely: (1) unauthorized
acceptance of payments for new connection; (2) dishonest or unauthorized
activity whether for personal gain or not; and (3) defrauding others by using
the name of the company. He was dismissed from service.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent is entitled to separation pay.

RULING:
No. When the employee is dismissed for any of the just causes he shall not
be entitled to termination pay without prejudice to applicable collective
bargaining agreement or voluntary employer policy or practice. Separation
pay shall be allowed only in those instances where the employee is validly
dismissed for causes other than serious misconduct or those reflecting on his
moral character. Separation pay in such case is granted to stand as a
measure of social justice. If the cause for the termination of employment
cannot be considered as one of mere inefficiency or incompetence but an act
that constitutes an utter disregard for the interest of the employer or a
palpable breach of trust in him, the grant by the Court of separation benefits is
hardly justifiable. In this case, private respondent was found by the Labor
Arbiter and the NLRC to have been validly dismissed for violations of company
rules, and certain acts tantamount to serious misconduct. Such findings, if
supported by substantial evidence, are accorded respect and even finality by
this Court
Separation Pay
AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES CORPORATION, et. al., v.
JUEBER P. SIAZAR G.R. No. 177970, August 25, 2010.

FACTS:
The company insists that the Court should reinstate the original CA decision,
given the findings of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC that it had not dismissed
Siazar.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent was illegally terminated.

RULING:
Yes. From an examination of the record, the Court has ascertained that the
evidence supports the CA’s finding that the company dismissed Siazar from
work. The company did not adduce any evidence to prove that Siazar’s
dismissal had been for a just or authorized cause as in fact it had been its
consistent stand that it did not terminate him and that he quit on his own. But
given that the company dismissed Siazar and that such dismissal had
remained unexplained, there can be no other conclusion but that his dismissal
was illegal. The Court has held that, under Article 279 of the Labor Code,
separation pay may be awarded to an illegally dismissed employee in lieu of
reinstatement when continued employment is no longer possible where, as in
this case, the continued relationship between the employer and the employee
is no longer viable due to strained relations between them and reinstatement
appears no longer practical due to the length of time that had since passed.
Social Justice
MANILA JOCKEY CLUB EMPLOYEES LABOR UNION-PTGWO, vs MANILA
JOCKEY CLUB, INC.,G.R. No. 167760,March 7, 2007

FACTS:
In the CBA, the parties agreed to a 7-hour work schedule from 9:00
a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on a work week of
Monday to Saturday. The CBA likewise reserved in respondent certain
management prerogatives, including the determination of the work schedule.
The NCMBs panel of voluntary arbitrators, in a decision dated October 18,
2001, upheld respondent's prerogative to change the work schedule of
regular monthly-paid employees under Section 2, Article XI, of the
CBA. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the panel denied the motion.
Dissatisfied, petitioner then appealed the panels decision to the CA in CA-
G.R. SP No. 69240. In the herein assailed decision of December 17, 2004,
the CA upheld that of the panel and denied petitioners subsequent motion for
reconsideration via its equally challenged resolution of April 4, 2005.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent violated the principle of non-diminution of pay.

RULING:
No. Respondent, as employer, cites the change in the program of horse
races as reason for the adjustment of the employees work schedule. It
rationalizes that when the CBA was signed, the horse races started at 10:00
a.m. While the Constitution is committed to the policy of social justice and the
protection of the working class, it should not be presumed that every labor
dispute will be automatically decided in favor of labor. The partiality for labor
has not in any way diminished our belief that justice in every case is for the
deserving, to be dispensed in the light of the established facts and the
applicable law and doctrine. When the races were moved to 2:00 p.m., there
was no other choice for management but to change the employees' work
schedule as there was no work to be done in the morning. Evidently, the
adjustment in the work schedule of the employees is justified.
Distinction between union members & union officers
SANTA ROSA COCA-COLA PLANT EMPLOYEES UNION vs COCA-COLA
BOTTLERS PHILS., INC., G.R. Nos. 164302-03, January 24, 2007

FACTS:
Upon the expiration of the CBA, the Union informed the Company of its desire
to renegotiate its terms. The CBA meetings commenced on July 26, 1999,
where the Union and the Company discussed the ground rules of the
negotiations. The Union insisted that representatives from the Alyansa ng
mga Unyon sa Coca-Cola be allowed to sit down as observers in the
CBA meetings. The Union officers and members also insisted that their wages
be based on their work shift rates. For its part, the Company was of the view
that the members of the Alyansa were not members of the bargaining unit.
The Alyansa was a mere aggregate of employees of the Company in its
various plants; and is not a registered labor organization. Thus, an impasse
ensued. The Union served a Notice of Strike.

ISSUE:
Whether the strike is illegal.

RULING:
Yes. For a strike to be valid, the following procedural requisites provided by
Art 263 of the Labor Code must be observed: (a) a notice of strike filed with
the DOLE 30 days before the intended date thereof, or 15 days in case of
unfair labor practice; (b) strike vote approved by a majority of the total union
membership in the bargaining unit concerned obtained by secret ballot in
a meeting called for that purpose, (c) notice given to the DOLE of the results
of the voting at least seven days before the intended strike. These
requirements are mandatory and the failure of a union to comply therewith
renders the strike illegal. It is clear in this case that petitioners totally ignored
the statutory requirements and embarked on their illegal strike.
Lustria Decision
LOLITA A. LOPEZ, ET. al., vs. QUEZON CITY SPORTS CLUB, INC.
G.R. No. 164032, January 19, 2009
FACTS:
Petitioners insist that the requirement for perfecting an appeal before the
NLRC had not been met because under the Lustria decision, QCSC was
ordered to pay the sum of P25,004,442.22 but it merely posted P4,000,000.00
and filed a motion for reduction of the bond.

ISSUE:
Whether the simultaneous filing of the motion to reduce the appeal bond and
posting of the reduced amount of bond within the reglementary period for
appeal constitute substantial compliance with Article 223 of the Labor Code.

RULING:
This rule was given a liberal interpretation by this Court in Nicol v. Footjoy
Industrial Corporation. This Court ruled that the bond requirement on appeals
involving monetary awards had been and could be relaxed in meritorious
cases such as: (1) there was substantial compliance with the Rules; (2) the
surrounding facts and circumstances constitute meritorious grounds to reduce
the bond; (3) a liberal interpretation of the requirement of an appeal bond
would serve the desired objective of resolving controversies on the merits; or
(4) the appellants, at the very least, exhibited their willingness and/or good
faith by posting a partial bond during the reglementary period. Applying these
jurisprudential guidelines, we find and hold that the NLRC did not err in
reducing the amount of the appeal bond and considering the appeal as having
been filed within the reglementary period.

Retrenchment
Flight Attendants and Stewards Asso. of the Phils. vs, PAL, Inc., et. al.
G.R. No. 178083, July 22, 2008

FACTS:
Prior to the full implementation of the assailed retrenchment program, FASAP
and PAL conducted a series of consultations and meetings and explored all
possibilities of cushioning the impact of the impending reduction in cabin crew
personnel. However, the parties failed to agree on how the scheme would be
implemented. Thus PAL unilaterally resolved to utilize the criteria set forth in
Section 112 of the PAL-FASAP CBA in retrenching cabin crew personnel: that
is, that retrenchment shall be based on the individual employees efficiency
rating and seniority.

ISSUE:
Whether the retrenchment scheme was justified.

RULING:
No. While it is true that the exercise of this right is a prerogative of
management, there must be faithful compliance with substantive and
procedural requirements of the law and jurisprudence, for retrenchment
strikes at the very heart of the workers employment, the lifeblood upon which
he and his family owe their survival. Retrenchment is only a measure of last
resort, when other less drastic means have been tried and found to be
inadequate. The burden clearly falls upon the employer to prove economic or
business losses with sufficient supporting evidence. Its failure to prove these
reverses or losses necessarily means that the employees dismissal was not
justified. Any claim of actual or potential business losses must satisfy certain
established standards, all of which must concur, before any reduction of
personnel becomes legal.

Abandonment
Padilla Machine Shop, et al. vs. Rifuno A. Javilgas
G.R. No. 175960, February 19, 2008

FACTS:
Javilgas filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal, underpayment of 13 th month
pay, separation pay and non-remittance of SSS contributions against
petitioners Padilla Machine Shop, Rodolfo Padilla and Leonardo Padilla. He
alleged that he was hired by Padilla. He found that Petitioners made regular
deductions for his SSS contributions, but sometime in 2002, he found out that
his employer was not remitting the contributions to the SSS; as a result, he
was not able to avail of the benefits thereof when his wife gave birth. When he
complained about the failure of his employer to remit his SSS contributions,
the latter transferred him to the Novaliches branch office.

ISSUE:
Whether Javilgas was illegally dismissed.

RULING:
Yes. In illegal dismissal cases, the burden of proof is on the employer to show
that the employee was dismissed for a valid and just cause. Petitioners have
failed to discharge themselves of the burden. Petitioner Rodolfo, however, did
not elaborate or show proof of the claimed abandonment. Instead, he
concluded that Javilgas abandoned his corresponding duties and
responsibilities when he established and created his own machine shop outfit.
For abandonment to exist, it is essential (a) that the employee must have
failed to report for work or must have been absent without valid or justifiable
reason; and, (b) that there must have been a clear intention to sever the
employer-employee relationship manifested by some overt acts. The
establishment of his own shop is not enough proof that Javilgas intended to
sever his relationship with his employer.

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Ltd., et. al. vs. FelicitoIbañez,
et. al. G.R. No. 170181. June 26, 2008

FACTS:
The Labor Arbiter found merit in the respondents complaint and declared that
they were regular employees who had been dismissed without just and valid
causes and without due process. It ruled that HANJINs allegation that
respondents were project employees was negated by its failure to present
proof thereof. It also noted that a termination report should be presented after
the completion of every project or a phase thereof and not just the completion
of one of these projects. The Labor Arbiter further construed the number of
years that respondents rendered their services for HANJIN as an indication
that respondents were regular, not project, employees. The NLRC reversed
the LA’s ruling.

ISSUE:
Whether respondents were illegally dismissed.

RULING:
Yes. In illegal dismissal cases, the employer has the burden of proving with
clear, accurate, consistent and convincing evidence that a dismissal was
valid. Records failed to show that HANJIN afforded respondents, as regular
employees, due process prior to their dismissal, through the twin
requirements of notice and hearing. Respondents were not served notices
informing them of the particular acts for which their dismissal was sought. Nor
were they required to give their side regarding the charges made against
them. Certainly, the respondents dismissal was not carried out in accordance
with law and was, therefore, illegal.

U-Bix Corporation, et al. vs. Valerie Anne H. Hollero


G.R. No. 177647, October 31, 2008
FACTS:
Respondent who was made to understand that she was the contact person of
U-Bix and the head of the implementation team, was furnished a copy of her
job description. From December 18-19, 1996, respondent suffered from loose
bowel movement, preventing her from reporting for work. She, however, failed
to notify the company of her absence. Malfitano advised her that he was
recommending the termination of her services and asked her to, as she did,
turn over her files and office keys. And he advised her not to report for work
until further notice.

ISSUE:
Whether the dismissal is valid.

RULING:
In termination cases, the employer has the burden of proving that the
dismissal is for a valid and just cause. While an employer enjoys a wider
latitude of discretion in terminating the employment of managerial employees,
managerial employees are also entitled to security of tenure and cannot be
arbitrarily dismissed at any time and without cause as reasonably established
in an appropriate investigation. In the case at bar, petitioners failed to
substantiate their allegations of respondent's habitual absenteeism, habitual
tardiness, neglect of duties, and lack of interest. Daily time records,
attendance records, or other documentary evidence attesting to these
grounds could have readily been presented to support the allegations but
none was.

Serious Misconduct
EATS-CETERA FOOD SERVICES OUTLET and/or SERAFIN RAMIREZ v.
MYRNA B. LETRAN and MARY GRACE ESPADERO,
G.R. No. 179507, October 2, 2009

FACTS:
Espadero had been employed by Eats-cetera Food Services Outlet since
June 30, 2001 as cashier. On November 20, 2002, when she reported for
duty, Espadero discovered that her time card was already punched in. After
asking around, she found out that a certain Joselito Cahayagan was the one
who punched in her time card. Espadero, however, failed to report the incident
to her supervisor, Clarissa Reduca (Reduca). This prompted Reduca to report
the incident to the personnel manager, Greta dela Hostria. Espadero
contended that she was dismissed outright without being given ample
opportunity to explain her side. She claimed that on November 21, 2002,
petitioners called her and asked her to make a letter of admission as a
condition for her reemployment.

ISSUE:
Whether Espadero was validly dimissed.

RULING:
Yes. Espaderos position as a cashier is one that requires a high degree of
trust and confidence, and that her infraction reasonably taints such trust and
confidence reposed upon her by her employer. A position of trust and
confidence has been defined as one where a person is entrusted with
confidence on delicate matters, or with the custody, handling, or care and
protection of the employers property and/or funds. The rule, therefore, is that
if there is sufficient evidence to show that the employee occupying a position
of trust and confidence is guilty of a breach of trust, or that his employer has
ample reason to distrust him, the labor tribunal cannot justly deny the
employer the authority to dismiss such employee.

Authorized Causes
ALFREDO A. MENDROS, JR v. MITSUBISHI MOTORS PHILS.
CORPORATION (MMPC)
G.R. No. 169780, February 16, 2009

FACTS:
MMPC instituted the first stage of its retrenchment program affecting around
531 hourly manufacturing employees, a step which later proved not adequate
enough to stem business reverses. Hence, after holding special labor-
management meetings with the hourly union, MMPC launched a temporary
lay-off program to cover some 170 hourly employees. This batch included
Alfredo who, sometime in January 1999, received a letter dated December 19,
1998, informing him of the temporary suspension of his employment, inclusive
of benefits. As there indicated, the temporary lay-off scheme, initiated due to
continuing business contraction, was for six months from January 4 to July 2,
1999.

ISSUE:
Whether the retrenchment is valid.

RULING:
Yes. The right of management to retrench or to lay-off workers to meet clear
and continuing economic threats or during periods of economic recession to
prevent losses is recognized by Article 283 of the Labor Code. Decisional law
teaches that the requirements for a valid retrenchment are: (1) that the
retrenchment is reasonably necessary and likely to prevent business losses
which, if already incurred, are not merely de minimis, but substantial, serious,
and real, or only if expected, are reasonably imminent as perceived
objectively and in good faith by the employer; (2) that the employer serves
written notice both to the employees concerned and the DOLE at least a
month before the intended date of retrenchment; (3) that the employer pays
the retrenched employee separation pay in an amount prescribed by the
Code; (4) that the employer exercises its prerogative to retrench in good faith;
and (5) that it uses fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining who would be
retrenched or retained.

Loss of Trust and Confidence


LEANDRO M. ALCANTARA v. THE PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND
INTERNATIONAL BANK ,G.R. No. 151349, October 20, 2010

FACTS:
The Labor Arbiter dismissed petitioners complaint for illegal dismissal for lack
of merit in a Decision dated February 1, 2000 wherein it was held that there
was substantial evidence that petitioner manipulated the records of
respondent to facilitate the anomalous transactions of the members of the
alleged criminal syndicate.

ISSUE:
Whether Alcantara was illegally dismissed.

RULING:
No. Loss of confidence as a just cause for termination of employment is
premised from the fact that an employee concerned holds a position of trust
and confidence. This situation holds where a person is entrusted with
confidence on delicate matters, such as the custody, handling, or care and
protection of the employers property. But, in order to constitute a just cause
for dismissal, the act complained of must be work-related such as would show
the employee concerned to be unfit to continue working for the employer.

Unfair Labor Practice


Arellano University Employees and Workers Union vs Court of Appeals,G.R.
No. 139940, September 19, 2006

FACTS:
On December 12, 1997, the Union, the exclusive bargaining representative of
about 380 rank-and-file employees of the University, filed with the NCMB a
Notice of Strike charging the University with Unfair Labor Practice. Petitioners
insist that the University violated the CBA by withholding union dues and
death benefits. The University counters that on the request of Union members
in light of their gripes against the Union and its officers, it did withhold said
dues and benefits which they deposited with the DOLE where the parties
could settle the issues among themselves.

ISSUE:
Whether the University committed ULP.

RULING:
No. To constitute ULP, however, violations of the CBA must be gross. Gross
violation of the CBA, under Article 261 of the Labor Code, means flagrant
and/or malicious refusal to comply with the economic provisions
thereof. Evidently, the University can not be faulted for ULP as it in good faith
merely heeded the above-said request of Union members.

PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORPORATION VS PILIPINO TELEPHONE


EMPLOYEESASSOCIATION (PILTEA), G.R. No. 160058
G.R. No. 160094, June 22, 2007
FACTS:
The Union and its officers maintain that their September 4, 1998 strike was
legal. They allege that the Company was guilty of union busting in promoting
a substantial number of Union members and officers to positions outside the
bargaining unit during the period of CBA negotiations. Allegedly, said Union
members and officers maintained the same jobs and duties despite their
promotion. They also capitalize on the CAs finding that the company was
guilty of unfair labor practice in refusing to turn over the deducted contingency
fees of the union members to the union. They contend that this finding of
unfair labor practice precludes the CA from ruling that the strike was illegal
and that the Union was in bad faith in conducting the strike.

ISSUE:
Whether the strike was legal.

RULING:
In the case at bar, the Union staged the strike on the same day that it filed its
second notice of strike. The Union violated the seven-day strike ban. This
requirement should be observed to give the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) an opportunity to verify whether the projected strike
really carries the approval of the majority of the union members. Moreover, we
agree with the CA that there was no union busting which would warrant the
non-observance of the cooling-off period. To constitute union busting under
Article 263 of the Labor Code, there must be: 1) a dismissal from employment
of union officers duly elected in accordance with the union constitution and by-
laws; and 2) the existence of the union must be threatened by such
dismissal. In the case at bar, the second notice of strike filed by
the Union merely assailed the mass promotion of its officers and members
during the CBA negotiations. Surely, promotion is different from dismissal.

Verification
OSCAR G. SAPITAN et al vs JB LINE BICOL EXPRESS, INC.
G.R. No. 163775, October 19, 2007

FACTS:
Petitioners filed a case for illegal dismissal against respondent. Although
the LA found that some of JB Line's employees were validly dismissed from
their jobs, he nonetheless ruled that JB Line was liable for constructive
dismissal. Respondent JB Line appealed finding that the bond posted was not
equivalent to the monetary judgment, the NLRC ordered respondent JB Line
to post an additional bond, otherwise, its appeal would be dismissed for non-
perfection. The latter failed, hence, the NLRC denied its appeal. Respondent
JB Line elevated the case to the CA via Rule 65 however the CA dismissed
the petition for failure to attach a secretary's certificate or board resolution
authorizing Lao Huan Ling to sign the verification and certification of non-
forum shopping for and on behalf of respondent JB Line.

ISSUE:
Whether the CA erred in dismissing the Petition.

RULING:
No. Verification is not an empty ritual or a meaningless formality. Its import
must never be sacrificed in the name of mere expedience or sheer caprice.
For what is at stake is the matter of verity attested by the sanctity of an oath
to secure an assurance that the allegations in the pleading have been made
in good faith, or are true and correct and not merely speculative. The reason
for this is that the principal party has actual knowledge whether a petition has
previously been filed involving the same case or substantially the same
issues. If, for any reason, the principal party cannot sign the petition, the one
signing on his behalf must have been duly authorized. A certification without
the proper authorization is defective and constitutes a valid cause for the
dismissal of the petition. Although respondent JB Line claims that
it substantially complied with the requirement, albeit belatedly, said certificate,
however, was neither dated nor its signatory Lao Huan Ling authorized to sign

the verification and the certification of non-forum shopping to be filed in

the CA.