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Rowell Industrial Corp. vs.

Court of Appeals
[G.R. No. 167714. March 7, 2007]
Facts:
Rowell Industrial is engaged in manufacturing tin cans for use in packaging of
consumer products, e.g., foods, paints, among other things. Taripe was
employed by petitioner on November 8, 1 as a !rectangular power press
machine operator" Taripe alleged that upon employment, he was made to sign a
document, which was not e#plained to him but which was made a condition for
him to be taken in and for which he was not furnished a copy.
Issue:
$hether respondent was a regular employee
Held:
%nder &rt '8( regular employees are classi)ed into*
+1, regular employees by nature of work - those employees who perform a
particular activity which is necessary or desirable in the usual business
or trade of the employer, regardless of their length of service.
+', regular employees by years of service - those employees who have
been performing the /ob, regardless of the nature thereof, for at least a
year.
of the 0abor 1ode, as amended, however, does not proscribe or
prohibit an employment contract
Article280
with a )#ed period. It does not
necessarily follow that where the duties of the employee consist of activities
usually necessary or desirable in the usual business of the employer, the
parties are forbidden from agreeing on a period of time for the performance
of such activities. There is nothing essentially contradictory between a
de)nite period of employment and the nature of the employee2s duties.
In the case at bar, Taripe signed a contract of employment good only for a
period of )ve months unless the said contract is renewed by mutual consent.
&long with other contractual employees, he was hired only to meet the
increase in demand for packaging materials for the 1hristmas season and to
build up stock levels for the early part of the year.
Standards
+1,the)#ed
for
valid
period
fxed
ofeplo!ent
terplo!ent:
wasknowingly and voluntarily
agreed upon by the parties, without any force, duress or improper pressure being
brought to bear upon the employee and absent any other circumstances vitiating
his consent. or
+', it satisfactorily appears that the employer and employee dealt with each other
on more or less e3ual terms with no moral dominance whatever being
e#ercised by the former on the latter.
&pplication of these standards to this case*
1, The employment contract signed by respondent Taripe did not mention that
he was hired
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only for a speci)c undertaking, the completion of which had been determined at the time of
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his engagement. The said employment contract neither mentioned that
respondent Taripe2s services were seasonal in nature and that his
employment was only for the duration of the 1hristmas season as purposely
claimed by petitioner RI1. $hat was stipulated in the said contract was that
Taripe2s employment was contractual for the period of )ve months.
&lso RI1 failed to controvert the claim that Taripe was made to sign the
contract of employment, prepared by RI1, as a condition for his hiring. 5uch
contract in which the terms
are prepared by only one party and the other party merely a6#es his
signature signifying his adhesion thereto is called contract of adhesion. It is
an agreement in which the parties
bargaining are not on e3ual footing, the weaker party2s participation
being reduced to the alternative !to take it or leave it." In the present
case, respondent Taripe, in need of a /ob, was compelled to agree to
the contract, including the )ve-month period of employment, /ust so he
could be hired.
', &s a power press operator, a rank and )le employee, he can hardly be
on e3ual terms with petitioner RI1. &s the 1ourt of &ppeals said,
!almost always, employees agree to any terms of an employment
contract /ust to get employed considering that it is di6cult to )nd work
given their ordinary 3uali)cations."
&s
He
a
was
rectangular
regular
power
employee
press machine operator, in charge of
manufacturing covers for !four liters rectangular tin cans," was holding a position which is
necessary and desirable in the usual business or trade of petitioner RI1, which was the
manufacture of tin cans. Thus, he was a regular employee.
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