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2nd Sem, AY 2018-2019
Wednesday 6pm
Atty. Jose-Antonio T. Aliling

Handout No. 02


Existence of Employer-Employee Relationship

Why is it important to determine whether an

employer-employee relationship exists?

At the outset, it must be clarified that the applicability of or protection extended by the Labor Code is not
limited to employees or to situations involving an employer-employee relationship.

Article 6 of the Labor Code explicitly clarifies that except as may otherwise be provided by the Labor Code or
by law, the rights and benefits granted by the Labor Code applies to all “workers”.

The definition of “workers” in Article 13 of the Labor Code clearly shows that a worker is any member of
the labor force, whether employed or unemployed. Thus, this clearly confirms that even somebody who
is not an employee (unemployed) may be considered a worker and thus entitled to the benefits of the
Labor Code, except as may otherwise be provided.

The phrase “except as may otherwise be provided” is what makes the determination of the existence of an
employer-employee relationship important. There are some provisions of the Labor Code – provisions
that grant rights, benefits and protections – which arise only upon the existence of an employer-employee

For example, the provisions of Book III relating to Conditions of Work – overtime pay, holiday pay,
minimum wage, rest day, etc. – will apply only if an employer-employee relationship exists.

One who is not an employee likewise cannot enjoy the right of Security of Tenure as provided in Book 6
of the labor code. Thus, there can be no finding of illegal dismissal of no employer-employee relationship
exists. If no such employer-employee relationship exists, compliance with the requirements of the
existence of just or authorized cause prior to termination, service of the required notice, and conduct of an
administrative investigation becomes practically immaterial or inapplicable.

Thus, it is essential for every employer or Human Resource Manager to know how to determine the
existence of an employer-employee relationship so that they will be able to know which provisions or
requirements of law they need to comply with to avoid possible exposure to liabilities as a result of an
inadvertent breach.

It bears emphasis that the existence of employer-employee relationship is ultimately a question of fact.i

The Four-Fold Test & Control Test

.Jurisprudence is abound with cases that recite the factors to be considered in determining the existence
of employer-employee relationship, namely:ii

(a) the selection and engagement of the employee;

(b) the payment of wages;
(c) the power of dismissal; and
(d) the employer's power to control the employee with respect to the means and method by
which the work is to be accomplished.iii

The most important factor involves the control test. Under the control test, there is an employer-employee
relationship when the person for whom the services are performed reserves the right to control not only
the end achieved but also the manner and means used to achieve that end.iv

For Recitation:

1. Francisco v. NLRC August 21, 2006

2. Sonza v. ABS CBN, June 10, 2004
3. Javier v. Flyace Corp. Feb 15, 2012
4. SMCEU v. Judge Bersamira (in Azucena)
5. Locsin et. al. v. PLDT, October 2, 2009
6. People’s Broadcasting Service v. Sec of Labor, March 6, 2012
7. Ymbong v. ABS-CBN, March 7, 2012
8. Professional Services v. CA, February 11, 2008
9. South East International Rattan Inc. v. Coming, March 12, 2014
10. Tenazas et. al. v. R. Villegas Taxi Transport, April 2, 2014.
11. Begino v. Abs-cbn, April 20, 2015.
12. David v. Macasio, July 4, 2014

Answer the questions:

a. What is the position and function of the employee in the case?

b. Was he deemed an employee by the Supreme Court?
c. What was the reason why he was declared and employee or not?
d. Was the Supreme Court correct? Why or Why not

i Television and Production Exponents, Inc. and/ or Antonio P. Tuviera v. Roberto C. Servana, G.R. No. 167648, 28 January

ii Television and Production Exponents, Inc. and/ or Antonio P. Tuviera v. Roberto C. Servana, G.R. No. 167648, 28 January

iii Ibid. Citing Dumpit-Murillo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 164652, 8 June 2007, 524 SCRA 290, 302 citing Manila Water
Company, Inc. v. Pena, G.R. No. 158255, 8 July 2004, 434 SCRA 53; Coca-Cola Bottlers v. Climaco, G.R. No. 146881, 5
February 2007, 514 SCRA 164, 177; Lakas sa Industriya ng Kapatirang Haligi ng Alyansa-Pinagbuklod ng Manggagawang
Promo ng Burlingame v. Burlingame Corporation, G.R. No. 162833, 15 June 2007, 524 SCRA 690, 695.

iv Television and Production Exponents, Inc. and/ or Antonio P. Tuviera v. Roberto C. Servana, G.R. No. 167648, 28 January
2008; citing Leonardo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 152459, 15 June 2006