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176800, September 05, 2011] Facts: PETITIONER was the branch manager of Keppel Bank Philippines, Inc. in Iloilo City. In August 2003, respondent specifically instructed him not to proceed with Hertz Exclusive Cars, Inc.s loan application because of the negative credit rating issued by the banks credit committee. This, notwithstanding, Lopez processed the loan. He was dismissed from the service. Issue: Was the dismissal justified? Ruling: Yes. Lopezs good intentions, assuming them to be true, are beside the point because ultimately, what comes out is his defiance of a direct order of the bank on a matter of business judgment. The right of an employer to freely select or discharge his employee is a recognized prerogative of management; an employer cannot be compelled to continue employing one who has been guilty of acts inimical to its interests. When this happens, the employer can dismiss the employee for loss of confidence. At the same time, loss of confidence as a just cause of dismissal was never intended to provide employers with a blank check for terminating employment. Loss of confidence should ideally apply only (1) to cases involving employees occupying positions of trust and confidence, or (2) to situations where the employee is routinely charged with the care and custody of the employer's money or property. To the first class belong managerial employees, i.e., those vested with the powers and prerogatives to lay down management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees, or effectively recommend such managerial actions. To the second class belong cashiers, auditors, property custodians, or those who, in the normal and routine exercise of their functions, regularly handle significant amounts of money or property. As branch manager, Lopez clearly occupies a "position of trust." His hold on his position and his stay in the service depend on the employer's trust and confidence in him and on his managerial services.[27] According to the bank, Lopez betrayed this trust and confidence when he issued the subject POs without authority and despite the express directive to put the client's application on hold. In response, Lopez insists that he had sufficient authority to act as he did, as this authority is inherent in his position as bank manager. He points to his record in the past when he issued POs which were honored and paid by the bank and which constituted the arbiter's "overwhelming evidence"[28] in support of the finding that "complainant's dismissal from work was without just cause, hence, illegal." The due process issue As the NLRC and the CA did, we find Lopez to have been afforded due process when he was dismissed. He was given the required notices. More importantly, he was actually given the opportunity to be heard; when he moved for reconsideration of the bank's decision to terminate his employment, it scheduled a hearing where he appeared together with his lawyer and a military man. This was an opportunity to be heard that the law recognizes. NLRC: Legal dismissal Labor Arbiter: Illegal dismissal CA: Legal dismissal

FERNANDO CO vs. LINA VARGAS G.R. No. 195167, November 16, 2011 Facts: Respondent Vargas filed against Nathaniel Bakeshop and its owner Fernando Co a complaint for underpayment or non-payment of wages and holiday pay. The complaint was later amended to include illegal dismissal as a cause of action and the non-payment of service incentive leave. Respondent alleged that aside from being a baker, she also did chores of a housemaid, served the customers and supervised the other workers in the absence of the owner. Respondent had a salary of P220 per day, respondent was not given a pay slip and she was never asked to sign a payroll. Petitioner avers that respondent badmouthed petitioners daughter and displayed defiance, disrespect and insubordination toward them. Issue: Is petitioner a househelper? Is dismissal illegal? Ruling: No, therefore dismissal is illegal. It is clear that petitioner is not a house helper or domestic servant of private respondents. The evidence shows that petitioner is working within the premises of the business of private respondent Co and in relation to or in connection with such business. In the Memorandum of Appeal filed by private respondents before the NLRC, the place of business of respondent Co and his residence is located in the same place. Thus, respondent Co exercised control and supervision over petitioners functions. Respondent Cos averment that petitioner had the simple task of cleaning the house and cooking at times and was not involved in the business was negated by the fact that petitioner likewise takes the orders of private respondents customers. Even if petitioner was actually working as domestic servant in private respondents residence, her act of taking orders, which was ratiocinated by the NLRC as not leading to the conclusion that petitioner in fact took the orders, would warrant the conclusion that petitioner should be considered as a regular employee and not as a mere family house helper or domestic servant of respondent Co. Having resolved the issue that petitioner was an employee of private respondents and not a housemaid, she is entitled to security of tenure. Assuming further that petitioner abandoned her job, the Supreme Court held in Ultra Villa Food Haus and/or Rosie Tio vs. NLRC that to constitute abandonment, two requisites must concur: (1) the failure to report to work or absence without valid or justifiable reason, and (2) a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship as manifested by some overt acts, with the second requisite as the more determinative factor. The burden of proving abandonment as a just cause for dismissal is on the employer. Private respondents failed to discharge this burden. The only evidence adduced by private respondents to prove abandonment was the affidavits of their househelpers and employees. Labor Arbiter: Illegal dismissal NLRC: No illegal dismissal CA: illegal dismissal