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Labor1 Digest Part6

Labor1 Digest Part6

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Published by: cmv mendoza on Jul 07, 2010
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Labor Law 1
A2010 - 186 -
[PAGE 42]
238 SCRA 232BELLOSILLO; November 18, 1994
Special civil action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari
- Alhambra employed Rupisan as salesman on 6-moprobationary basis. Alhambra made surprise audit, allegedviolations were purportedly committed by him. He was placedunder 1-mo preventive suspension. He protested. He allegesthat charges against him had become academic when he wasgiven clearance of all accountabilities.- A day before end of suspension, he was terminated. He suedAlhambra.- Labor Arbiter found that the termination was for just cause,but there was a violation of due process (failure to furnish copyof audit report).- Both parties appealed to NLRC which affirmed Arbiter’sfindings.
WON NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in sustainingfinding of Labor Arbiter that Rupisan was illegally dismissed butdirecting his reinstatement so he could have explained
 YES- Employment is no longer just an ordinary human acctivity. Formost families the main source of their livelihood, employmenthas now leveled off with property rights which no one may bedeprived of without due process of law.- Termination of employment is not anymore a mere cessationor severance of contractual relationship but an economicphenomenon affecting members of the family. This explainswhy under the broad principles of social justice the dismissal of employees is adequately protected by the laws of the state.- A termination without just cause entitles a worker toreinstatement regardless of whether he was accorded dueprocess. On the other hand, termination of a worker for cause,even without procedural due process, does not warrantreinstatement, but the employer incurs liability for damages.- Since the Labor Arbiter found a valid ground for dismissal, iterred when it directed reinstatement.- To order reinstatement and compel the parties to start theprocedure from step one would be circuitous because almostinvariably that same issue of validity of the ground of dismissalwould be brought back to the Labor Arbiter for adjudication. Welaid down in Wenphil Corporation v. NLRC3 that an otherwise justly grounded termination without procedural due processwould only sanction payment of damages- Standards of due process in judicial as well as administrativeproceedings have long been established. In its bare minimumdue process of law simply means giving notice and opportunityto be heard before judgment is rendered.- When the private respondent filed a complaint againstpetitioner, he was afforded the right to an investigation by thelabor arbiter.- Although belatedly, private respondent was afforded dueprocess before the labor arbiter wherein the just cause of hisdismissal had been established. With such finding, it would bearbitrary and unfair to order his reinstatement with backwages.- It will be highly prejudicial to the interests of the employer toimpose on him the services of an employee who has beenshown to be guilty of the charges that warranted his dismissalfrom employment. Indeed, it will demoralize the rank and file.- However, the petitioner must nevertheless be held to accountfor failure to extend to private respondent his right to aninvestigation before causing his dismissal.
186 SCRA 763NARVASA; July 2, 1991
- Jose Masaya made an unauthorized electric service connectionwhich supplied electricity to the house of Antonio Sanchez (whopaid the former Php 200 for making the said connection.)- Sanchez neither applied with Meralco for electric service normade the requisite deposit for it.- This clandestine and illicit connection was eventuallydiscovered by Meralco who then charged him (through a letter)with a violation of the Company Code on Employee Discipline,and thereafter conducted a formal investigation of the matter.- Those who gave testimony at that investigation were JoseMasaya himself, and Renato Repuyan, Meralco fieldinvestigator.- Prior to being interrogated about the illegal connection and inresponse to preliminary questions by the investigator, Masayastated for the record that he had received the letter accusinghim of misconduct, that he had a copy of the code of disciplineand understood the nature of the precise charge against him,and that he did not need to be assisted by a lawyer or arepresentative of his Union because he said that what he wasabout to say was “pawing katotohanan lamang.”- Repuyan testified on the fact of the undenied and indisputableinstallation of the illegal electrical connection at the residenceof Antonio Sanchez (his description of the manner of itsaccomplishment being substantially the same as Masaya'sown), and also, the disclosures made to him by Sanchez's househelpers and the owner of the house- After the investigation, and on the basis of the results thereof,Meralco filed with the Ministry of Labor and Employment anapplication for clearance to terminate Masaya's services,serving copy on the latter.- Meralco also placed Masaya under preventive suspension.- A week later, Masaya filed a complaint for illegal dismissalagainst Meralco.- After the trial, LA Andres M. Lomabao rendered a decision inMasaya's favor; saying that the record of the investigationconducted by Meralco should not be accorded credence; thatMeralco's contention that Masaya had "surreptitiously effectedthe direct connection of . . . electric service" was not credible,because Masaya "was employed as a bill collector, not as alineman collector, hence, he does not know how to installelectrical connection;" and that the money received by Masayafrom Sanchez (P200 or P250) was not in consideration of anyclandestine connection but was accepted as "representationexpenses in following up Mr. Sanchez' application forinstallation of electric facilities . . . with the Engineer's Office atthe City Hall of Manila.
Labor Law 1
A2010 - 187 -
- NLRC affirmed the Arbiter's decision; said that since Meralcowas charging Masaya of a criminal offense, it should provebeyond reasonable doubt (pbrd) said crime which it was notable to do as it was not shown that Masaya was given theopportunity to be heard by counsel or at least, a representativeto confront his accuser; that based on the doctrine of PBRD,there is no causal connection between Masaya' s duties to thecrime imputed to him, mere substantial evidence is insufficientto hold Masaya guilty of installing electrical connection let alonedeprive him of his right to labor."
WON the LA & the NLRC committed GABD in failing to take intoconsideration or excluding Masaya’s admissions in theirprononcement that Masaya was illegally dismissed
NLRC’S ERROR:- Masaya was in truth asked if he wished to be assisted by alawyer or a representative of his Union, and his response was inthe negative because, in his own words, "
ang sasabihin konaman dito ay pawang katotohanan lamang
"- In administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings, PBRD is notrequired as basis for a judgment of the legality of an employer'sdismissal of an employee, nor even preponderance of evidence,substantial evidence being sufficient.- LC: ”the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equityshall not be controlling and it is the spirit and intention of thisCode that the Commission and its members and the LaborArbiters shall use every and all reasonable means to ascertainthe facts in each case speedily and objectively and withoutregard to the technicalities of law or procedure, all in theinterest of due process. . . .- SC: the ground for an employer's dismissal of an employeeneed be established only by substantial evidence.
- It is absolutely of no consequence that the misconduct withwhich an employee may be charged also constitutes a criminaloffense-The proceedings being administrative, the quantum of proof isgoverned by the substantial evidence rule and not, as therespondent Commission seems to imagine, by the rulegoverning judgments in criminal actions.-The Court cannot close its eyes to the following facts of record,to wit:1) the reality of the illegal electrical connection;2) the letter to Masaya accusing him of misconduct3) Masaya's acknowledgment that, having a copy of thecompany's code of discipline, he understood the nature of theaccusation against him, and his declining to be assisted by alawyer or a representative of his Union because, according tohim, "
ang sasabihin ko naman dito ay pawang katotohananlamang
;"4) his voluntary admission that it was he who had made theillegal electrical connection, describing the manner by whichhe had made it, and that he had received P250.00 from theoccupant of the house, Antonio Sanchez; and5) his plea to the company for forgiveness for having madethe illegal connection.- on record: testimony regarding identification of Masaya byAntonio Sanchez' servants and by Castañeda, the owner of thehouse occupied by Sanchez.- nothing in the record to demonstrate that Masaya'sadmissions were made otherwise than voluntarily.- Such an offense is obviously of so serious a character as tomerit the penalty of dismissal from employment, as stated inthe Meralco Code on Employee Discipline:
SECTION 7. Dishonesty. — xxx xxx xxx 3) Directly or indirectly tampering with electric meters or metering installation of the Company or the installation of any device, with the purpose of defrauding the Company.
-The Labor Code pronounces
"fraud or willful breach by theemployee of the trust reposed in him by his employer orduly authorized representative," or "serious misconduct"on the part of the employee to be lawful ground toterminate employment.
And this Court has held that the
"dismissal of adishonest employee is as much in the interests of laboras it is of management. The labor force in any companyis protected and the workers' security of tenurestrengthened when pilferage of equipment, goods andproducts which endangers the viability of an employerand, therefore, the workers' continued employment isminimized or eliminated and consequently labor-management relations based on mutual trust andconfidence are promoted."
(*IN short: Tenurial Security is not an absolute right for the lawprovides that an employee may be dismissed for just cause. )
Petition for
is GRANTED, the decisions of the NLRC and LA are ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE, and the
of the employment of privaterespondent is
258 SCRA 621MENDOZA; July 11, 1996
Special civil action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari
- Private respondent Ruiz was the internal auditor of petitionerCitytrust Banking Corporation. She was designated manager of the Quiapo branch of the bank, but she refused theappointment on the ground that it was a demotion. As aconsequence, she was suspended and, upon clearance given bythe Department of Labor, she was terminated on November 8,1974.- Private respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. Shewas ordered reinstated as branch manager, the NLRC urgingher to accept the position, otherwise her refusal would beconsidered a ground for her loss of employment. Privaterespondent appealed to the Minister of Labor (now Secretary of Labor and Employment) but again she lost. Both parties thenappealed to the Office of the President, which orderedpetitioner to reinstate private respondent to her former positionas internal auditor and to pay her backwages from the time hercompensation was withheld up to the time of her reinstatement.- Petitioner moved for a reconsideration on the ground that theposition of internal auditor had been abolished (although theposition of resident inspector was created in its stead), andtherefore in lieu of reinstatement, it should only be made to payprivate respondent's separation pay. The Office of thePresident modified its decision and ordered petitioner toreinstate private respondent to a substantially equivalentposition without loss of seniority rights and to grant her thebenefits and privileges to which she would be entitled had shenot been dismissed.- Subsequently, petitioner reinstated private respondent asmanager of the Auditing Department. Private respondentaccepted the appointment but questioned her reinstatement tothat position on the ground that it was not substantiallyequivalent to the position of resident inspector (the positioncreated in place of internal auditor). She also questioned theaward of backwages as the report of the socio-economic analystallegedly did not include backwages from April 1974 to June1974 when she was on leave with pay and vacation and sickleave in 1974 and other fringe benefits to which she wasentitled before her termination.- Labor Arbiter Apolinario N. Lumabao issued an order holdingthat the position of manager of the Auditing Department wasnot substantially equivalent to that of resident inspector.possible as it appears (that) the position is already filled up (,) torelocate complainant to a substantially equivalent position with
Labor Law 1
A2010 - 188 -
all the emoluments and privileges of a Resident Inspector.Respondent is hereby further ordered to pay.- The NLRC affirmed the Labor Arbiter's order with modificationby ordering the following to be added to the award: (a) Hervacation and sick leave privilege during the period of herseparation in accordance with the disposition hereinbeforestated in the body of this Resolution, and (b)the normalincreases which complainant would have received during theperiod of her separation.- In connection with the computation of the award in her favor,private respondent sought the production of the bank's payrollsfor 1974-1981. Her motion was opposed by petitioner whichoffered instead P74,344.00, the total amount of backwages ascomputed by the socio-economic analyst of the Department of Labor, plus P9,040.00 in transportation allowance andP1,050.00 mid-year bonus for 1974.- Private respondent refused the offer, hence the NLRC directedthe analyst to compute the award on the basis of the payrollsfrom 1974 to 1981. Petitioner appealed to the NLRC
en banc
,but its petition was dismissed, on the ground that the orderappealed from was interlocutory.- Petitioner filed a petition for
and Prohibition with thisCourt, assailing the dismissal of its appeal. The petition was atfirst dismissed for lack of merit. Petitioner's motion forreconsideration was also dismissed. On July 21, 1986 this Courtmodified its decision and petitioner was ordered to pay privaterespondent "backwages limited to three years withoutqualification or deduction at the salary rate of privaterespondent at the time of dismissal."- The Labor Arbiter issued an alias writ of execution after findingthat the amount corresponded to the amount found due privaterespondent in the decision of the NLRC and the resolution of this Court, consisting of salary differentials and other fringebenefits which were not paid to her from the time that she wasreinstated on August 14, 1978 as manager of the AuditingDepartment.- Petitioner moved to quash the alias writ of execution. As itsmotion was denied, it filed a petition for Injunction in the NLRC
en banc
to stop the implementation of the alias writ of execution and prayed for a recomputation of the monetaryaward pursuant to this Court's resolution of July 21, 1986. Itspetition was, however, denied, as was its motion forreconsideration, in the resolutions of the NLRC. Hence, thispetition.
private respondent is entitled to only three years of backwages and no more
NO- Private respondent is, in addition, entitled to reinstatementwithout loss of seniority rights. Art. 280 of the Labor Codeprovides:ART. 280. Security of Tenure. In cases of regularemployment, an employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized bythis title.
An employee who is unjustly dismissed fromwork shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and to his backwages
computed from thetime his compensation was withheld from him up to the timeof his reinstatement. (emphasis supplied)- Backwages are for earnings which a worker has lost due to hisillegal dismissal. Private respondent was illegally dismissedfrom November 8, 1974 to August 13, 1978. In its May 28,1985 Report, the socio-economic analyst computed privaterespondent's backwages for this period but he erroneouslyconsidered as backwages private respondent's salarydifferential from August 14, 1978 to October 31, 1984. OnAugust 14, 1978, private respondent had already beenreinstated,
to a lower paying position as manager of theAuditing Department. Hence the award of backwages should beup to August 13, 1978 only. What she was entitled to receiveafter that date was the difference between the salary of internalauditor (resident inspector) and that of manager of the AuditingDepartment to which she was actually appointed. This position,as already noted, was found to be not a substantially equivalentposition to that of internal auditor or resident inspector.- The resolution of July 21, 1986 of this Court, which limited theaward of backwages, referred to the backwages for the periodNovember 8, 1974 to August 13, 1978 as component of therelief granted by law to those who are illegally dismissed. TheCourt at that time limited the award of backwages to threeyears without qualification and deduction to avoid delaysincident to the determination of the earnings of the laid-off employees during the pendency of the case and of deductingthem from the backwages later awarded.- The second component of the relief granted under then Art.280 of the Labor Code was reinstatement either to their formerposition or if, this was not possible, to a substantially equivalentposition. Reinstatement contemplates a restoration to a positionfrom which one has been removed or separated so that theemployee concerned may resume the functions of the positionhe already held. Private respondent was the internal auditor of petitioner at the time of her dismissal. Since this position hadbeen replaced by the position of resident inspector, privaterespondent should have been appointed resident inspector. The position of manager of the Auditing Department to whichshe was appointed was not a substantially equivalent position,as found by the Labor Arbiter in his order of February 26, 1979and later by the NLRC.- The order to reinstate an employee to a former position or to asubstantially equivalent position is a positive mandate of thelaw with which strict compliance is required. This is anaffirmation that those deprived of a recognized and protectedinterest should be made whole so that the employer will notprofit from his misdeeds.- Since private respondent retired from the bank on March 1,1991, reinstatement is now academic. She should therefore bepaid the difference in pay of a resident inspector and amanager of the Auditing Department from August 14, 1978 upto March 1, 1991.
Petition dismissed.
[PAGE 77]
480 SCRA 204TINGA; January 27, 1999
 - Quijano was employed by Mercury Drug Corporation as awarehouseman --- a clerical/rank and file position. He wasdismissed, so he filed a complaint with the NLRC for illegaldismissal. The case reached the SC. In 1998, the SC ruled forhis reinstatement to his old position or to a substantially similarposition. The SC denied the company’s mfr, and came out witha resolution in 1999 for Quijano’s reinstatement.- What’s this case all about, then? The respondents in this caseare the LA and the NLRC commissioner, respectively. Quijanofiled a case against then for violation of Canon 1 and Rule 1.01of the Code of Professional Responsibility. WHY? They gave outorders contrary to the resolution of the SC. The LA said to makehim self-service attendant because accdg to mercury therewere only 4 positions open. All 4 positions required collegegraduates, but LA said he thinks Quijano could handle the self-service attendant job. The NLRC commissioner said since thereare no available positions, he should just be given separationpay.
WON Bartolabac & Quimpo erred

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