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FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK v.

ARLENE ESPIRITU
FACTS:
DOCTRINE: Burden of ER to prove that person whose
services it pays for is an independent contractor rather than
regular EE with or without fixed term
FACTS:

Arlene engaged by Fuji as news


correspondent/producer in 2005: report Ph news to
Fuji (thru Manila Bureau field office

Employment contract initially provided for 1 y term,


but was successively renewed on yearly basis with
salary adj

Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009. Fuji told her


that it will have a problem renewing her contract, but
Arlene insisted that she was still fit to work

Arlene and Fuji signed nonrenewal contract: no


renewal after expiration in May 31, 2009

Arlene acknowledged receipt of USD18050 (monthly


salary from Mar-May, bonuses and separation pay),
but signed UNDER PROTEST

Filed complaint for illegal dismissal; had no other


recourse but to sign, otherwise amt would have been
withheld

LA: dismissed. Arlene and independent contractor

NLRC: reversed. Continuous rendering of services


necessary and desirable to business

CA: affirmed NLRC


o
Regular: necessary and desirable;
continuous rehiring
o
Sonza N/A: not contracted on acct of
peculiar ability, special talent, or skill.
Everything used by her in her work owned
by Fuji
o
Signing of contract not voluntary

Fuji: A hired as stringer, an independent contractor


o
No control
o
Salary was higher than normal rate
o
Annual renewal of contract was upon
Arlenes insistence
o
Fuji agreed because she had skills that
distinguished her from other EEs
o
A and Fuji dealt on equal terms
o
A freely agreed not to renew (evidenced by
emails; showed power to bargain)
o
Employment ceased upon expiration of
contract. Fixed term

Arlene:
o
Fuji had control and supervision
o
Successive renewal = necessary and
desirable

o
o

Fuji owned things she used for work


Sonza ruling NA: Jay Sonza was a news
anchor, talk show host celebrity status

ISSUE: WON Arlene a regular or fixed-term contractual


employee
HELD:
Classification of Employees
(accdg to A280)
1. Regular
a. Perform activities necessary and desirable
to business
b. Casual employees with >1yr service
2. Project
3. Seasonal
4. Casual
(Accdg to Brent v. Zamora)
5. Fixed term
a. Determining factor not activities, but day
certain
b. Where fixed term essential and natural
appurtenance (e.g. overseas contracts)
Distinction bt. FT, Independent Con., and Regular
FT: informed of fixed terms, both parties on equal footing
IC: distinct and independent business, performs job on its
own, free from control of principal. No ER-EE rel between IC
and P.

Also recognized in A106 LC and DO 18-A-11

KINDS OF ICs
o
Engaged in legitimate job contracting
o
individuals with unique skills and
talents that set them apart from
ordinary EES
Fujis argument that A an IC under FT contract
contradictory

EEs in FT contracts cannot be ICs because in FT


contracts, no ER-EE rel exists

Test for FT is the DAY CERTAIN test

Regular: determining factor is necessity and


desirability of work

ICs: no ER-EE rel with Ps


CONCLUSION: A regular EE with FT contract
EE can be regular even with an FT contract
As long as it was EE who requested, or bargained, that
contract have definite date or termination, or that it was
freely entered into by both parties