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Babock v Babock FACTS: Babcock-Hitachi (Phils.), Inc.

, petitioner, is a manufacturing corporation, with branches at Makati City and Bauan, Batangas. petitioner, to improve the operating efficiency and coordination, formulated a plan to transfer the Design Department from its Makati office to Bauan, Batangas. petitioner sent separate notices to Justiniano G. Iniego, Xavier Aguila and Bonifacio B. Vergara, who occupied Engineer 1 positions at the Design Department, of their re-assignment and transfer to Bauan, Batangas effective April 1, 1999. This prompted them to claim for their relocation allowance provided by Sections 1 and 2, Article XXI of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).[3] However, petitioner refused to implement the CBA, claiming that the affected employees are not entitled to relocation allowance under Policy Statement considering that they are residents of Bauan or its adjacent towns Thus, the affected union members (Justiniano Iniego, et al.), represented by Babcock-Hitachi (Phils.), Inc., Makati Employees Union, respondent, filed with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) a complaint for payment of relocation allowance against petitioner. the parties stipulated to submit the case for voluntary arbitration. the Voluntary Arbitrator rendered a Decision ordering petitioner to pay respondents concerned members their relocation allowances. CA- affirmed. ISSUE: The basic issue for our resolution is whether union members are entitled to relocation allowance in light of the CBA between the parties. HELD: YES To begin with, any doubt or ambiguity in the contract between management and the union members should be resolved in favor of the latter. This is pursuant to Article 1702 of the Civil Code which provides: "(I)n case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer. Pertinent are Sections 1 and 2, Article XXI of the CBA which provide: "Section 1. The COMPANY shall provide a relocation allowance of ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED PESOS (P1,800.00) per month for employees who will be transferred from Bauan to Makati. For employees who will be transferred from Makati to Bauan, the relocation assistance shall be ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (P1,500.00). Section 2. Employees can avail this provision provided their transfer is on a permanent basis or for a duration exceeding one (1) month." The above provisions state that employees transferred from Makati City to Bauan, Batangas are entitled to a monthly relocation allowance of P1,500.00, provided their transfer is permanent or for a period exceeding one month. Such provisions need no interpretation for they are clear. Contracts which are not ambiguous are to be interpreted according to their literal meaning and not beyond their obvious intendment. PHIL EMPLOY V PARAMIO FACTS: On different dates from April 1996 to October 1996, respondents Joseph Paramio, Ronald Navarra, Romel Sarmiento, Recto Guillermo, Ferdinand Bautista and Apolinario Curameng, Jr. applied for employment in Taiwan2 with petitioner, Phil. Employ Services and Resources, Inc. (PSRI for brevity), a domestic corporation engaged in the recruitment and deployment of Filipino Workers Overseas they executed in the Philippines separate one-year contracts of employment with their employer in Taiwan, Kuan Yuan Fiber Co., Ltd. Hsei-Chang. The respondents were deployed in Taiwan as operators on different dates 5 and each of them had a monthly salary of NT$15,360 (New Taiwan Dollars), with free food and accommodation.6 The respondents were downhearted when they discovered that, upon their arrival in their quarters, they had no beddings, pillows and blankets. 9 They encountered worse problems in the course of their employment following acts/omissions of their employer: a). Irregular and deliberate charging of deductions which were not fully accounted such as the blankets issued, charging of penalties amounting to 400 NT to all employees for a littering violation attributable only to one employee; b). Mandatory imposition of overtime work exceeding 10 hours without just overtime compensation and night shift differentials;

c). Failure to comply with some stipulations stated in the Employment Contract particularly those relating to the accommodation and lodging of the contracted workers; d). Lack of observance of safety precautions at work area78. 1. They dont give us day off. 2. They feed us once a day. 3. They even let us work without rest. 4. Their (sic) were so many deductions in our salaries like payment for our boarding house, electricity and garbage fee. 5. The money they were sending to the Philippines was also reduced with the amount ranging from P2000 to P5000.79 ISSUE: w/n PSRI and Fontilla were liable for reimbursement of the fees, night sift differentials, overtime payment etc? w/n they were illegally dismissed? HELD: YES TO BOTH Anent the first issue, the petitioner insists that the dismissal of the respondents was based on valid and legal grounds. Consequently, the award of salaries for the unexpired portion of their respective contracts, and the refund of placement fee and airfare was barren of factual and legal basis. We rule that the respondents dismissal was not based on just, valid and legal grounds. Preliminarily, it bears stressing that the respondents who filed complaints for illegal dismissal against the petitioner were overseas Filipino workers whose employment contracts were approved by the Philippine and Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and were entered into and perfected here in the Philippines. As such, the rule lex loci contractus (the law of the place where the contract is made) governs. Therefore, the Labor Code, its implementing rules and regulations, and other laws affecting labor, apply in this case. In order to effect a valid dismissal of an employee, the law requires that there be just and valid cause as provided in Article 28256 and that the employee was afforded an opportunity to be heard and to defend himself. 57 Dismissal may also be based on any of the authorized causes provided for in Articles 283 and 284 of the Labor Code Art. 284. Disease as a ground for termination An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health as well as the health of his co-employees: Applying the law and the rule, the employer is burdened to prove that the employee was suffering from a disease which prevented his continued employment, or that the employees wound prevented his continued employment. Section 8, Rule 1, Book VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code requires a certification from competent public authority59 that the employee was heavily wounded and had lost the ability to work. In the case at bar, the petitioner did not adduce in evidence a certification from a public authority to the effect that respondent Paramio had been heavily wounded. It also failed to show that by reason of his thumb injury, he lost the ability to work. The fact that respondent Paramio was assigned to perform the second hardest and heaviest task in the company shows the heartlessness of the companys manager. Despite his wound, the respondent tried to accomplish the work assigned to him. The least the manager should have done was to assign the respondent to a lighter task, until such time that the latters wound had completely healed. It must be stressed where there is no showing of a clear, valid and legal cause for the termination of employment, the law considers the matter a case of illegal dismissal

petitioner failed to substantiate its claim that respondent Navarras repatriation was based on a valid, legal and just cause. The petitioner merely alleged that it was made clear to respondent Navarra that his repatriation was due to the fight he had with his supervisor. Respondent Navarra asserted that he merely enforced his rights under the employment contract when he requested, time and again, that the provisions of his contract regarding the accommodation be fulfilled. in light of the petitioners failure to adduce substantial evidence to prove its claim that respondent Navarra fought his supervisor, this ground cannot be used to justify the dismissal. Thus, the termination of respondent Navarras employment was without factual and legal basis. As to the other respondents, the petitioner alleges that they refused to go to work and, in fact, voluntarily resigned. We do not agree. The records reveal that the three respondents agreed to execute the foregoing because they could no longer bear the working conditions in their place of employment. . The respondents were the victims of the abuses of their employer; as such, they had personal knowledge of the contents of their affidavits. Moreover, when there is a doubt between the evidence presented by the employer and the employee, such doubt should be resolved in favor of labor. "It would have been illogical for herein petitioner to resign and then file a complaint for illegal dismissal. Resignation is inconsistent with the filing of said complaint." In sum, there can be no other conclusion than that the aforementioned respondents were illegally dismissed, and their employment contract illegally terminated. In sum, we rule that the termination of the respondents respective contracts of employment was illegal. BONIFACIO V GSIS Petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Employees Compensation Commission dated August 19, 1982, affirming the denial by the Government Service Insurance System of petitioner's claim for benefits The late Lourdes Bonifacio was a classroom teacher assigned to the district of Bagamanoc, Division of Catanduanes, until she contracted carcinoma of the breast with metastases to the gastrointestinal tract and lungs which caused her death on October 5, 1978. Dra. Corazon Yabes-Almirante of the Ospital ng Bagong Lipunan certified that the late Lourdes Bonifacio underwent radical mastectomy for cancer of the breast in 1973. In 1976, when her ailment was noted to have metastasized to her abdomen, she submitted herself to an operation known as "exploratory laparotomy. Despite chemotherapy, she died on October 5, 1978. Thereafter a claim for death benefits under P.D. No. 626, as amended, was filed by petitioner with the GSIS. The same was however denied on the ground that the decedent's principal ailment, carcinoma of the breast with metastases to gastrointestinal tract and lungs, is not an occupational disease for her particular work as a teacher, nor is the risk of contracting said disease increased by her working conditions. The Employees Compensation Commission, on appeal affirmed the decision of the respondent System. ISSUE: W/N the petitioner is entitled to a claim for death benefits? HELD: NO We hold that the GSIS and the Employees Compensation Commission did not err in denying petitioner's claim. A compensable sickness means "any illness definitely accepted as an occupational disease listed by the Employees Compensation Commission, or any illness caused by employment subject to proof by the employee that the risk of contracting the same is increased by working conditions. For this purpose, the Commission is empowered to determine and approve occupational diseases and work-related illnesses that may be considered compensable based on peculiar hazards of employment." [Art. 167(1) Labor Code as amended by P.D. No. 1368, effective May 1, 1978]. Thus, for the sickness or the resulting disability or death to be compensable, the sickness must be the result of an accepted occupational disease fisted by the Employees Compensation Commission. Carcinoma of the breast with metastases to the gastrointestinal tract and lungs is not listed by the Commission as an occupational disease. The cancer which affected the deceased not being occupational in her particular employment, it became incumbent upon petitioner

to prove that the decedent's working conditions increased the risk of her contracting the fatal illness. This onus petitioner failed to satisfactorily discharge. Petitioner's contention that the decision of the Employees Compensation Commission totally ignored the Supreme Court's pronouncements on compensation cases is unmeritorious. The petitioner evidently overlooked that his claim is now within the ambit of the Labor Code and the rulings under the old law, Act No. 3428, as amended, no longer control. Thus, under the Workmen's Compensation Law, it is not necessary for the claimant to carry the burden of proof to establish his case to the point of demonstration. "Once the disease had been shown to have arisen in the course of employment, it is presumed by law, in the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, that it arose out of it." With this legal presumption in the old law, the burden of proof shifts to the employer and the employee no longer suffers the burden of showing causation. Under the present Labor Code, the "latitudinarian or expansive application of the Workmen's Compensation Law in favor of the employee or worker" no longer prevails as the burden of showing proof of causation has shifted back to the employee particularly in cases of sickness or injuries which are not accepted or listed as occupational by the Employees Compensation Commission. As stated in Sulit vs. Employees Compensation Commission [supra] "the Labor Code abolished the presumption of compensability and the rule on aggravation of illness caused by the nature of the employment. " While we do not dispute petitioner's contention that under the law, in case of doubt in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code, including its implementing rules and regulations, the doubt shall be resolved in favor of the laborer, we find that the same has no application in this case since the pertinent provisions. LETRAN V VILLAS FACTS: Belen Villas was employed by the petitioner School as high school teacher in September 1985. On May 15, 1995, she applied for a study leave for six months, from June to December 31, 1995. In a letter dated June 2, 1995, Mrs. Angelina Quiatchon, principal of the high school department, told Villas that her request for study leave was granted for one school year. She intended to utilize the first semester of her study leave to finish her masteral degree at the Philippine Womens University (PWU). Unfortunately, it did not push through so she took up an Old Testament course in a school of religion and at the same time utilized her free hours selling insurance and cookware to augment her familys income. However, during the second semester of her study leave, she studied and passed 12 units of education subjects at the Golden Gate Colleges in Batangas City. In response to the letters sent her by petitioner to justify her study leave, she submitted a certification from Golden Gate Colleges and a letter explaining why she took up an Old Testament course instead of enrolling in her masteral class during the first semester. President and Rector of the Schoolwrote her, stating that her failure to enroll during the first semester was a violation of the conditions of the study leave and that the reasons she advanced for failure to enroll during the first semester were not acceptable ISSUE: whether or not respondents alleged violation of the conditions of the study grant constituted serious misconduct which justified her termination from petitioner School. HELD: YES Under the Labor Code, there are twin requirements to justify a valid dismissal from employment: (a) the dismissal must be for any of the causes provided in Article 282 of the Labor Code (substantive aspect) and (b) the employee must be given an opportunity to be heard and to defend himself (procedural aspect). 7 The procedural aspect requires that the employee be given two written notices before she is terminated consisting of a notice which apprises the employee of the particular acts/omissions for which the dismissal is sought and the subsequent notice which informs the employee of the employers decision to dismiss him.8 In the case at bar, the requirements for both substantive and procedural aspects were not satisfied.

We affirm the findings of the Court of Appeals that there was no violation of the conditions of the study leave grant. Thus, respondent could not be charged with serious misconduct warranting her dismissal as a teacher in petitioner School. Petitioner has failed to convince us that the three alleged violations of the study leave grant constituted serious misconduct which justified the termination of respondents employment. Misconduct is improper or wrongful conduct. It is the 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 of judgment. 9 Under Article 282 of the Labor Code, the misconduct, to be a just cause for termination, must be serious. This implies that it must be of such grave and aggravated character and not merely trivial or unimportant. 10 Examples of serious misconduct justifying termination, as held in some of our decisions, include: sexual harassment (the managers act of fondling the hands, massaging the shoulder and caressing the nape of a secretary); 11 fighting within company premises;12 uttering obscene, insulting or offensive words against a superior; 13 misrepresenting that a student is his nephew and pressuring and intimidating a co-teacher to change that students failing grade to passing.14 In this light, the alleged infractions of the respondent could hardly be considered serious misconduct. With regard to respondents alleged failure to report for work on April 1, 1996 and failure to enroll during the first semester, the Court of Appeals and the Voluntary Arbitrator found that she did in fact report for work on April 1, 1996 and that she was in fact enrolled during the first semester. Assuming arguendo that she did fail to report for work on April 1, 1996 and enroll during the first semester, the most respondent could be charged with was simple misconduct. In both instances, there was evidence of substantial compliance by respondent. Her alleged failure to report for work exactly on April 1, 1996 is not equivalent to "failure to return for work," a sanctionable offense under the Faculty Manual. As correctly pointed out by the VA, petitioner failed to establish that there was a distinct and definite assignment that needed to be done personally by respondent, and specifically on April 1, 1996, which she failed to do on said date At most, respondent failed to help out during the preparations for graduation and this, to us, was not a significant reason for terminating or dismissing her from her job. If respondent intended to use her study leave for other unauthorized purposes, as petitioner would like us to believe, she would not have enrolled at the Golden Gate Colleges during the second semester. Yet she did, as borne out by the certification18 prepared by the Registrar of Golden Gate Colleges. Furthermore, we find that respondent did not violate the prohibition on engaging in employment outside the school as specified in her study leave grant and as provided in the Faculty Manual. shall engage himself in employment outside the institution, the administration shall regard the faculty member on leave resigned. (Emphasis supplied) We find the provision of the Faculty Manual ambiguous as the term "employment" connotes a number of meanings. Employment in its general sense connotes any work or service rendered in exchange for money. The loose connotation of employment may therefore cover jobs without an employeremployee relationship. However, inasmuch as in this case, petitioner School drafted the said policy, the term "employment" should be strictly construed against it.20 Moreover, it is a settled rule that in controversies between a laborer and his master, doubts reasonably arising from the evidence, or in the

These letters did not comply with the requirements of the law that the first written notice must apprise the employee that his termination is being considered due to a certain act or omission. With regard to the respondents claim for the six-month study leave and vacation pay, we affirm the decision25 of the Voluntary Arbitrator that respondent is not entitled to such benefits: We similarly affirm the Voluntary Arbitrators decision that respondent is not entitled to moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees because there is no evidence showing that bad faith or malice attended the dismissal of respondent PAL V PLEA FACTS: On January 14, 1959, said employees were reinstated and subsequently their backwages, computed at the rate of their compensation at the time of the aforementioned dismissal, less the wages and salaries earned by them elsewhere during the lay-off period, were paid to them. The employees objected to this deduction and the CIR sustained them, in a Resolution dated May 22, 1960, which was reversed by the Supreme Court, PALEA moved for the execution of the CIR resolution of July 13, 1954, as regards the "other rights and privileges" therein mentioned: (1) Christmas bonus from 1950 to 1958; (2) accumulated sick leave; (3) transportation allowance during lay-off period; and (4) accumulated free trip passes, both domestic and international. By an order dated October 8, 1962, the CIR granted this motion, except as regards the sick leave of Onofre Grio and Bernardino Abarrientos, and the transportation allowance, which were denied. Hence this appeal. Issue: w/n respondent is entitled to the rights and privileges? Held: yes In ordering therein the "reinstatement" of said employees with "back wages from

the date of their dismissal to the date of their reinstatement, and without prejudice to their seniority or other rights and privileges," it is obvious that the

resolution intended to restore the employees to their status immediately prior to their dismissal. Hence, it directed , not only their reinstatement, but, also, the payment of their back wages during the period of their lay-off thus referring necessarily to a period of time preceding their reinstatement and the retention of "their seniority or other rights and privileges". Rights reinstatement, but at the time? Certainly, not after their reinstatement, but at the time of their aforementioned dismissal. In other words, the reinstatement was with back wages for the lay-off period, coupled with "seniority or other rights and privileges", attached to the status of the employees when they were dismissed. To put it differently, the CIR treated said employees as if they had not been absent form work and had been uninterruptedly working during the lay-off period. , it was the intention of the Board and Court to provide that, upon reinstatement the employees were to be treated in matters involving seniority and continuity of employment as though they had not been absent from work,

as though they had been actually at during the entire period from the date of strike to the date of reinstatement.
As a consequence, the employees involved in the case at bar are entitled to the Christmas bonus that PAL had given to all of its employees during said period, for said bonus, having been paid regularly, has become part of the compensation of the employees. The PAL's appeal as regards the free trip passes is, however, well taken, for the employees had no absolute right thereto, even if they had actually rendered services during the lay-off period. The free trip passes were given, neither automatically, nor indiscriminately. The employees had to apply therefore and their applications were subject PAL's approval. Wherefore, except as to the free trip passes for the lay-off period, which should not be deemed included in the "rights and privileges" awarded in the resolution.

interpretation of agreements and writings should be resolved in the formers favor.21

Petitioner also failed to comply with the procedural requirements for a valid dismissal. As earlier noted, the law requires the employer to give the worker to be dismissed two written notices before terminating his employment. Considering that these notices are mandatory, the absence of one renders any management decision to terminate null and void. Petitioner failed to give respondent the first notice which should have informed the latter of the formers intention to dismiss her. However, we find that these letters did not apprise respondent that her dismissal was being sought by petitioner School as said letters only required respondent to submit proof of enrollment.