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Tan vs.

Lagrama 387 SCRA 393 Facts: Lagrama works for Tan as painter of billboards and murals for the motion pictures shown at the theaters managed by Tan for more than 10years. Lagrama was dismissed for having urinated in his working area. Lagrama filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and non payment of benefits. Tan asserted that Lagrama was an independent contractor as he was paid in piece-work basis Issue: W/N Lagrama is an independent contractor or an employee of Tan. Ruling: Lagrama is an employee, not an independent contractor. Applying Four Fold Test A. Power of Control - Evidence shows that the Lagrama performed his work as painter and under the supervision and control of Tan. Lagrama worked in a designated work area inside the theater of Tan for the use of which petitioner prescribed rules, which rules included the observance of cleanliness and hygeine and prohibition against urinating in the work area and any other place other than rest rooms and Tan's control over Lagrama's work extended not only the use of work area but also the result of Lagrama;s work and the manner and means by which the work was to be accomplished Lagrama is not an independent contractor because he did not enjoy independence and freedom from the control and supervision of Tan and he was subjected to Tan's control over the means and methods by which his work is to be performed and accomplished B. Payment of Wages Lagrama worked for Tan on a fixed piece work basis is of no moment. Payment by result is a method of compensation and does not define the essence of the relation. Tat Lagrama was not reported as an employee to the SSS is not conclusive, on the question whether he was an employee, otherwise Tan would be rewarded for his failure or even neglect to perform his obligation. C. Power of Dismissal by Tan stating that he had the right to fire Lagrama, Tan in effect acknowledged Lagrama to be his employee D. Power of Selection and Engagement of Employees Tan engaged the services of Lagrama without the intervention of third party Compared to an employee, an independent contractor is one who carries on a distinct and independent business and undertakes to perform the job, work, or service on its own account and under its own responsibility according to its own manner and method, free from the control and direction of the principal in all matters connected with the performance of the work except as to the results thereof. [8] Hence, while an independent contractor enjoys independence and freedom from the control and supervision of his principal, an employee is subject to the employers power to control the means and methods by which the employees work is to be performed and accomplished.


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