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G & M Philippines, Inc., vs. Romil V.

Cuambot
CASE DIGEST: G.R. No. 162308 November 22, 2006
Illegal Dismissal, Labor Law, Overseas Employment
FACTS:
Respondent Romil V. Cuambot was deployed to Saudi Arabia as a car body builder with
petitioner G & M Philippines, Inc., a duly licensed placement and recruitment agency. On a twoyear employment contract, he worked with the Al Waha Workshop. However, respondent did not
finish his contract and returned to the Philippines barely six months later. Upon returning, he
immediately filed before the NLRC a complaint for unpaid wages, withheld salaries, refund of
plane ticket and repatriation bond, which was later amended to include illegal dismissal, claim
for the unexpired portion of his employment contract, actual, exemplary and moral damages, and
attorneys fees.
Respondent Cuambot alleged that at the Al Waha Workshop where he worked, he was subjected
to inhumane and unbearable working conditions. Except for a meal allowance of 100 Riyals a
month, he was not paid his monthly salary of 1,200 Riyals. And he was required to render six (6)
hours of overtime work daily, except Friday, without overtime pay; he was also seriously insulted
by his employer every time he demanded for his salary, and some of the letters sent to him by his
family were withheld by his employer.
He thus filed a petition for payment of the unpaid salaries including interests, until the same will
be fully paid.
Petitioner G & M insisted that respondent was religiously paid his salaries as they fell due. After
working for a little over seven months, respondent pleaded with his employer to be allowed to
return home since there were family problems he had to settle personally. Respondent even
submitted a resignation letter. To support such claim, petitioner submitted in evidence copies of
seven payslips duly authenticated by the Philippine Labor Attach in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Respondent countered that his signatures in the purported payslips were forged. He also stated
that he was never given a copy of the contract of employment. To counter the allegation of
forgery, petitioner claimed that there was a great possibility that respondent had changed his
signature while abroad so that he could file a complaint for illegal dismissal upon his return. The
argument that the stroke and handwriting on the payslips was written by one and the same person
is mere conjecture, as respondent could have requested someone, to prepare the resignation letter
for him. Petitioner further pointed out that respondent has different signatures, not only in the
pleadings submitted before the Labor Arbiter, but also in respondents personal documents.
On January 30, 1997, the Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of respondent Cuambot, finding unreliable
the G & M's evidence of Cuambot's alleged signature in the payslips which was similar to the
handwritings in the payslips and the handwritings in the purported resignation letter of the
Cuambot. In an appeal to the NLRC, the latter remanded the case to its origin for referral to a
government agency that can conduct calligraphy examination on the questioned documents.
The case was then re-raffled to another Labor Arbiter, and this time, the complaint was dismissed
for lack of merit. The new Labor Arbiter said the respondent failed to substantiate his claim of
poor working conditions and long hours of employment. The fact that he executed a handwritten
resignation letter was enough evidence of the fact that he voluntarily resigned from work.
Respondent also failed to submit any evidence to refute the payslips duly signed and
authenticated by the labor attach in Saudi Arabia, inasmuch as their probative value cannot be
impugned by mere self-serving allegations. The Labor Arbiter concluded that as between the oral
allegations of workers that they were not paid monetary benefits and the documentary evidence
presented by employer, the latter should prevail.

Respondent appealed the decision to the NLRC, alleging that the Labor Arbiter failed to consider
the genuineness of the signature which appears in the purported resignation as well as those that
appeared in the seven payslips. He insisted that these documents should have been endorsed to
the National Bureau of Investigation Questioned Documents Division or the Philippine National
Police Crime Laboratory for calligraphy examination.
The NLRC dismissed the appeal for lack of merit. It held that the questioned documents could
not be endorsed to the agency concerned since mere photocopies had been submitted in
evidence. It also stressed that the parties had earlier agreed to submit the case for resolution on
the basis of the pleadings and the evidence on record; that if respondent had wanted to have the
documents endorsed to the NBI or the PNP, he should have insisted that the documents be
examined by a handwriting expert of the government. Thus, respondent was estopped from
assailing the Labor Arbiters ruling.
On a petition for certiorari before the CA, the latter reversed the ruling of the NLRC. According
to the appellate court, among others, a visual examination of the questioned signatures would
instantly reveal significant differences in the handwriting.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the employee voluntarily resigned from employment or was illegally dismissed?
RULING:
We find in respondents favor. That the petitioner failed to submit the original copies of the
payslips and the resignation letter raises doubts as to the veracity of its claim that they were
actually signed by the respondent.
As correctly noted by the CA, the opinions of handwriting experts, although helpful in the
examination of forged documents because of the technical procedure involved in the analysis, are
not binding upon the courts. A finding of forgery does not depend entirely on the testimonies of
handwriting experts, because the judge must conduct an independent examination of the
questioned signature in order to arrive at a reasonable conclusion as to its authenticity. No less
than Section 22, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court explicitly authorizes the court, by itself, to make
a comparison of the disputed handwriting with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the
party against whom the evidence is offered or proved to be genuine to the satisfaction of the
judge.
Even a cursory perusal of the resignation letter and the handwritten pay slips will readily show
that they were written by only one person.
Indeed, the rule is that all doubts in the implementation and the interpretation of the Labor Code
shall be resolved in favor of labor, in order to give effect to the policy of the State to afford
protection to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex,
race or creed, and regulate the relations between workers and employers, and to assure the
rights of workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and
humane conditions of work.
The Petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.
RFM CORPORATION-FLOUR DIVISION and SFI FEEDS DIVISION
v.KASAPIAN NG MANGGA-GAWANG PINAGKAISA-RFM (KAMPINAFLU-KMU) andSANDIGAN AT UGNAYAN NG MANGGAGAWANG
PINAGKAISA-SFI (SUMAPI-NAFLU-KMU)

G. R. No. 162324
February 4, 2009
Carpio Morales, J.
FACTS
Petitioner RFM Corporation, a domestic corporation entered into collective
bargaining agreements (CBAs) with the Kasapian ng Manggagawang PinagkaisaRFM (KAMPI-NAFLU-KMU) and Sandigan at Ugnayanng Manggagawang
Pinagkaisa-SFI (SUMAPI-NAFLU-KMU).Under the CBA, RFM agreed to make
payment to all daily paid employees on Black Saturday, November 1and December
31 if declared as special holidays by the national government. During the first year
of the effectivity of the CBAs in 2000, December 31which fell on a Sunday was
declared by the national government as a special holiday. Respondent unions thus
claimed payment of their members salaries, invoking the CBA provision. RFM
refused the claims for payment, averring that December 31, 2000 was not
compensable as it was a rest day. The controversy resulted in a deadlock, drawing
the parties to submit the same for voluntary arbitration. The Voluntary Arbitrator
(VA) declared that the provision of the CBA is clear, ruling in favor of KAMPINAFLU-KMU and SUMAPI-NAFLU-KMU and ordered RFM to pay their
salaries. The Court of Appeals(CA) affirmed the decision.
ISSUE
Whether or not the employees are entitled to the questioned salary according
to the provision of the CBA.
RULING
If the terms of a CBA are clear and have no doubt upon the intention of the
contracting parties, as in the herein questioned provision, the literal meaning
thereof shall prevail. That is settled. As such, the daily-paid employees must be
paid their regular salaries on the holidays which are so declared by the national
government, regardless of whether they fall on rest days. Holiday pay is a
legislated benefit enacted as part of the Constitutional imperative that the State
shall afford protection to labor. Its purpose is not merely "to prevent diminution of
the monthly income of the workers on account of work interruptions. In other
words, although the worker is forced to take a rest, he earns what he should earn,
that is, his holiday pay." The CBA is the law between the parties, hence, they are
obliged to comply with its provisions. Indeed, if petitioner and respondents
intended the provision in question to cover payment only during holidays falling
on work or weekdays, it should have been so incorporated therein.
RFM maintains, however, that the parties failed to foresee a situation where

the special holiday would fall on a rest day. The Court is not persuaded. The Labor
Code specifically enjoins that in case of doubt in the interpretation of any law or
provision affecting labor, it should be interpreted in favor of labor.

SUNACE INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR


RELATIONS COMMISSION et al.
G.R. No. 161757 January 25, 2006

FACTS: Respondent Divina Montehermozo is a domestic helper deployed to Taiwan by Sunace


International Management Services (Sunace) under a 12-month contract. Such employment was
made with the assistance of Taiwanese broker Edmund Wang. After the expiration of the
contract, Montehermozo continued her employment with her Taiwanese employer Hang Rui
Xiong for another 2 years.

When Montehermozo returned to the Philippines, she filed a complaint against Sunace,
Wang, and her Taiwanese employer before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
She alleges that she was underpaid and was jailed for three months in Taiwan. She further alleges
that the 2-year extension of her employment contract was with the consent and knowledge of
Sunace. Sunace, on the other hand, denied all the allegations.

Ruling of the Labor Arbiter and Court of Appeals: The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of
Montehermozo and found Sunace liable thereof. The National Labor Relations Commission and
Court of Appeals affirmed the labor arbiters decision. Hence, the filing of this appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is theory of imputed knowledge between the principal and the agent
HELD: NO. As agent of its foreign principal, [Sunace] cannot profess ignorance of such an
extension as obviously, the act of its principal extending [Divinas] employment contract
necessarily bound it,it too is a misapplication, a misapplication of the theory of imputed
knowledge.

The theory of imputed knowledge ascribes the knowledge of the agent, Sunace, to the principal,
employer Xiong, not the other way around. The knowledge of the principal-foreign employer
cannot, therefore, be imputed to its agent Sunace.

There being no substantial proof that Sunace knew of and consented to be bound under the 2year employment contract extension, it cannot be said to be privy thereto. As such, it and its
owner cannot be held solidarily liable for any of Divinas claims arising from the 2-year
employment extension. As the New Civil Code provides, Contracts take effect only between the
parties, their assigns, and heirs, except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the
contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of law.

Furthermore, as Sunace correctly points out, there was an implied revocation of its agency
relationship with its foreign principal when, after the termination of the original employment
contract, the foreign principal directly negotiated with Divina and entered into a new and
separate employment contract in Taiwan. Article 1924 of the New Civil Code provides The
agency is revoked if the principal directly manages the business entrusted to the agent, dealing
directly with third persons, thus applies.

Metropolitan Bank vs NWPC (2007) G.R. 144322


Facts:On October 1995, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, Region
II,Tuguegarao, Cagayan (RTWPB), by virtue of Republic Act No. 6727 (R.A. No.
6727),otherwise known as the Wage Rationalization Act, issued Wage Order No. R02-03
(WageOrder), as follows:Section 1. Upon effectivity of this Wage Order, all
employees/workersin the private sector throughout Region II, regardless of the status of
employment aregranted an across-the-board increase of P15.00 daily.The Wage Order was
published in a newspaper of general circulation on December 2,1995 and took effect on January
1, 1996. Its Implementing Rules were approved onFebruary 14, 1996. Per Section 13 of the
Wage Order, any party aggrieved by the WageOrder may file an appeal with the National Wages
and Productivity Commission (NWPC)through the RTWPB within 10 calendar days from the
publication of the Wage Order.
Bankers Council in a letter inquiry to NWPC requested for ruling to seek exemptionfrom
coverage of the wage order since the members bank are paying more than theregular wage.
NWPC replied that the member banks are covered by the wage order anddoes not fall with the
exemptible categories. In another letter inquiry, Metrobank askedfor the interpretation of the
applicability of the wage order. NWPC referred it to RTWPB.RTWPB in return clarified that
establishments in Region 2 are
Issue: WON the wage order is void thus it has no legal effect and the RTWPB acted inexcess of
its jurisdiction.
Held:Section 1, Wage Order No. R02-03 is void insofar as it grants a wage increase toemployees
earning more than the minimum wage rate; and pursuant to the separabilityclause of the Wage
Order, Section 1 is declared valid with respect to employees earningthe prevailing minimum
wage rate.The powers of NWPC are enumerated in ART. 121. Powers and Functions
of theCommission. - The Commission shall have the following powers and functions: (d)
Toreview regional wage levels set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and ProductivityBoards to
determine if these are in accordance with prescribed guidelines and nationaldevelopment plans;
(f) To review plans and programs of the Regional Tripartite Wagesand Productivity Boards to
determine whether these are consistent with national development plans; (g) To exercise
technical and administrative supervision over theRegional Tripartite Wages and Productivity
Boards.R.A. No. 6727 declared it a policy of the State to rationalize the fixing of minimumwages
and to promote productivity-improvement and gain-sharing measures to ensurea decent standard
of living for the workers and their families; to guarantee the rights oflabor to its just share in the
fruits of production; to enhance employment generation inthe countryside through industrial
dispersal; and to allow business and industryreasonable returns on investment, expansion
and growth.
SLL INTERNATIONAL CABLES SPECIALIST and SONNY L. LAGON, Petitioner, v.
NLRC, ROLDAN LOPEZ, ET AL., Respondents.
MENDOZA, J.:

FACTS:
Respondents were supposedly employed by petitioner as project employees in 11996, 1997,
1998, and 1999. They were paid less than the minimum wage for the four periods of their
employment. During their 4th employment, Lagon, the employer, due to economic constraints,
had to cut down on the overtime work of the employees. Thus, when respondent-employees
asked for overtime work, Lagon had to refuse them, and told them that if they insist, they would
have to go home at their own expense and that they would not be given any more time nor be
allowed to stay in their quarters. The case was brought before the Labor Arbiter, on a complaint
for illegal dismissal, non-payment of wages, non-payment of 13th month pay, among other
things, against the employer. The employer reasoned that the employees were project employees,
since they were employed for a specific undertaking, and thus were not regular employees
entitled to minimum wage. Further, the employer reasoned that the employees were actually paid
above the minimum wage, since the allowances for snacks, lodging house, electricity, water, and
transportation should be included in the wages.
The LA opined that private respondents were regular employees because they were repeatedly
hired by petitioners and they performed activities which were usual, necessary and desirable in
the business or trade of the employer. With regard to the underpayment of wages, the LA found
that private respondents were underpaid. It ruled that the free board and lodging, electricity,
water, and food enjoyed by them could not be included in the computation of their wages
because these were given without their written consent. The LA, however, found that petitioners
were not liable for illegal dismissal.The LA viewed private respondent's act of going home as an
act of indifference when petitioners decided to prohibit overtime work. The NLRC and CA
affirmed and ruled against the employer.
ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the employees were entitled to minimum wage
2. Whether or not the free board and lodging, electricity, water, and food enjoyed by the
employees should be included in the computation of the wages
HELD:
The petition is denied.
LABOR LAW: Allowable deductions from employees wages.
Preliminarily, the Court noted that the case involves factual disputes decided by the trial courts,
whose decisions the Court cannot disturb. Settled is the fact that decisions by labor arbiters, due
to their expertise, cannot be disturbed and are accorded respect and finality when supported by
substantial evidence. Thus it cannot decide on the issue of whether the employees are project or
regular employees, and must affirm the ruling that they are regular employees. In any case,
project employees are entitled to the minimum wage, since they are not among the exclusions
enumerated in the Labor Code Implementing Rules.
On the issue of whether the facilities should be included as wages, a four-pronged test must be
completed: proof must be shown that such facilities are customarily furnished by the trade;
second, the provision of deductible facilities must be voluntarily accepted in writing by the
employee; and finally, facilities must be charged at reasonable value.Mere availment is not
sufficient to allow deductions from employees wages.
These requirements, however, have not been met in this case. SLL failed to present any company
policy or guideline showing that provisions for meals and lodging were part of the employees
salaries. It also failed to provide proof of the employees written authorization, much less show
how they arrived at their valuations.At any rate, it is not even clear whetherprivaterespondents
actually enjoyed said facilities.

Petition is DENIED.
Becmen Service Exporter and Promotion v Sps. Simplicio and Mila Cuaresma (in behalf of
daughter Jasmin), White Falcon Services, and Jaime Ortiz (Pres. Of White Falcon)
Sps. Cuaresma (in behalf of Jasmin) v White Falcon and Becmen
Facts:
Jan 1997 Jasmin was deployed by Becmen to serve as assistant nurse in Al-Birk Hospital in
Saudi under a 3 year contract, for $247/mo.
June 1998 - she died. Jessie Fajardo, co-worker, found her dead inside her dormitory room with
mouth foaming and smelling of poison. Medical report of Al-Birk Hosp stated that the cause of
death was poisoning halt in blood circulation, respiratory system and brain damage due to
poisoning from unknown substance.
Sep 1998 her body was repatriated to Manila. The City Health Officer of Cabanatuan found
that Jasmin died under violent circumstances not poisoning abrasions at her inner lip and gums;
lacerated wounds and abrasions on her left and right ears; lacerated wounds and hematoma
(contusions) on her elbows; abrasions and hematoma on her thigh and legs; intra-muscular
hemorrhage at the anterior chest; rib fracture; puncture wounds; and abrasions on the labia
minora.
Mar 1999 Jasmins body was exhumed by NBI. Toxicology report tested negative ffor nonvolatile, metallic poison and insecticides.
Sps. Cuaresmas received from OWWA the following: 50k death benefits, 50k loss of life; 20k
funeral expenses; 10k medical reimbursement.
Nov 1999 Sps. Filed complaint against Becmen and Rajab & Silsilah Co (principal in Saudi)
claiming death and insurance benefits. Sps. Claim that Jasmins death was work-related having
occurred at the employers premises; their entitled to iqama insurance; compensatory damages
amounting to $103k which is the sum of her monthly salary 35 years (she was 25 yo when she
died, assuming she would survive until 60 yo).
Becmen and Rajab claim that Jasmin committed suicide and relied on the medical report of Al
Birk. They deny liability since the Sps. Had already received their benefits from OWWA. Later,
Becmen manifested that Rajab had terminated their agency, and impleaded White Falcon as the
new agency of Rajab.
Summary of Rulings

LArb dismissed for lack of merit, giving credence to Al Birk medical report
NLRC reversed, found Jasmin a victim of compensable work-connected criminal
aggression; both agencies are solidarily liable to pay $113; later reduced to $80k
CA affirmed; later reduced the award to $8k (monthly salary x remaining contract
period)

Issues

WON entitled to insurance NO


WON death is compensable NO

WON death was by suicide NO


WON Becmen and Falcon are liable YES, solidary liability

Ratio
1

NOT entitled to insurance.


The terms and conditions of Jasmins 1996 Employment Agreement which she and her
employer Rajab freely entered into constitute the law between them. As a rule,
stipulations in an employment contract not contrary to statutes, public policy, public order
or morals have the force of law between the contracting parties. An examination of said
employment agreement shows that it provides for no other monetary or other
benefits/privileges than the following:
1.

1,300 rials (or US$247.00) monthly salary;

2.
Free air tickets to KSA at the start of her contract and to the
Philippines at the end thereof, as well as for her vacation at the end of each twenty
four-month service;
3.

Transportation to and from work;

4.

Free living accommodations;

5.
Free medical treatment, except for optical and dental operations,
plastic surgery charges and lenses, and medical treatment obtained outside of KSA;
6.
Entry visa fees will be shared equally between her and her employer,
but the exit/re-entry visa fees, fees for Iqama issuance, renewal, replacement,
passport renewal, sponsorship transfer and other liabilities shall be borne by her;
7.
Thirty days paid vacation leave with round trip tickets to Manila after
twenty four-months of continuous service;
8.

Eight days public holidays per year;

9.
The indemnity benefit due her at the end of her service will be
calculated as per labor laws of KSA.
Thus, the agreement does not include provisions for insurance, or for accident, death or
other benefits that the Cuaresmas seek to recover, and which the labor tribunals and
appellate court granted variably in the guise of compensatory damages.
Absence for provisions on social security and other benefits does not make the contract
infirm under PH laws since under Saudi law, foreign employer is not obliged to provide
her these benefits.
2

Death NOT WORK RELATED, therefore not compensable (i.e., not liable for lost
earnings)
At time of death, Jasmin was not on duty but at her dormitory room on personal time.
Court stated that the foreign employer cannot be expected to ensure her safety even while
she is not on duty. What an employee does on free time is beyond the employers sphere
of inquiry.

The dormitory room also cannot be considered as employers premises.


3

Jasmin DID NOT COMMIT SUICIDE


Court cannot subscribe to the idea that Jasmin committed suicide while halfway into her
employment contract. This is beyond human comprehension for a 25 yo Filipina
especially since suicide is contrary to Christian belief. Court cited Filipinas resilience
despite abuse and maltreatment. Based on past OFW experiences, Filipinas do not
simply commit suicide but rather endure.
Court also found that Saudi police and autopsy reports are patently inconclusive. Their
report is contradicted by the City Health Officer and by NBI. Even the toxicology report
tested negative for poisonous substances.
All these show that Jasmin was manhandled and possibly raped prior to death.

Rajab, Becmen, White Falcon solidarily liable for moral and exemplary damages
Court admonished Becmen and Falcon for simply dismissing Jasmins case as one of
suicide instead of fighting for her rights. The Agencies prioritized their corporate interest
over that of Jasmin.
RA 8042 Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act provides that the State shall at all
times uphold the dignity of its citizens, whether in the country or overseas. The rights and
interest of distressed overseas Filipinos are adequately protected and safeguarded.
Becmen and Falcon, both licensed recruitment agencies, miserably failed to abide by RA
8042. Recruitment agencies are expected to extend assistance to deployed OFWs, be the
first to come the rescue of our distressed OFWs; and have the primary obligation to
protect the rights and ensure the welfare of our OFWs. It should have been them who
sought justice for Jasmin. Instead, it was the parents who requested an autopsy in the Ph
to confirm the Saudi report. Court stated that the parents have done all that was within
their power to investigate Jasmins case on their own.
Art 19 CC every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his
duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.
Art 21 CC any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is
contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the later for the
damage.
Art 24 CC in all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a
disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental
weakness, tender age or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.
Rajab, Becmen and Falcons acts and omissions are against public policy because they
undermine and subvert the interest and general welfare of our OFWs.
Whether employed locally or overseas, all Fil workers enjoy the protective mantel of PH
labor and social laws, contract stipulations to the contrary notwithstanding. This is in
keeping with the Consti provision for the State to afford protection to labor, promote full
employement, ensure equal work opportunities.
All labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and
decent living for the laborer.

As a result of their misconduct, Cuaresmas are entitled to moral damages for which
Becmen and Falcon are solidarily liable. Grant of moral damages to the employee by
reason of misconduct on the part of the employer is sanctioned by Art 2219 (10) CC.
Private employment agencies are held jointly and severally liable with the foreign-basd
employer for any violation of the recruitment agreement or contract of employement.
This is meanth to assure the aggrieved worker of immediate and sufficient payment. If the
agency is a juridical being, the corporate officers and directors and partners are also
solidarily liable.
Falcons assumption of Becmens liability does not absolve Becmen.
CA decision set aside. Awarded P2.5M as moral damages, P250k as exemplary damages.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) v. National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC)164 SCRA 671 (1988)
FACTS:
Marilyn Abucay, a traffic operator of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, was
accused bytwo complainants of having demanded and received from them the total amount of
P3,800.00 in considerationof her promise to facilitate approval of their applications for telephone
installation. Investigated and heard, shewas found guilty as charged and accordingly separated
from the service. She went to the Ministry of Labor andEmployment claiming she had been
illegally removed. Despite of her being dismissed for cause, (as contendedby PLDT) the labor
arbiter (from NLRC) in his decision ruled that the complainant (herein private respondent)must
be given one month pay for every year of service as financial assistance. The labor arbiter finds
the same asequitable, taking into consideration her long years of service to the company whereby
she had undoubtedlycontributed to the success of the company.NOTE: Marilyn Abucay had
served in the company for 10 years. Thus, she must be awarded 10 monthsseparation pay for
every year of her service.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the award of separation pay for the private respondent is just.
RULING:
NO. The rule embodied in the Labor Code is that a person dismissed for cause as defined therein
is notentitled to separation pay. The separation pay, when it was considered warranted, was
required regardless of the nature or degree of the ground proved, be it mere inefficiency or
something graver like immorality ordishonesty. Separation pay shall be allowed as a measure of
social justice only in those instances where theemployee is validly dismissed for causes other
than serious misconduct or those reflecting on his moralcharacter. Where the reason for the valid
dismissal is, for example, habitual intoxication or an offense involvingmoral turpitude, like theft
or illicit sexual relations with a fellow worker, the employer may not be required togive the
dismissed employee separation pay, or financial assistance, or whatever other name it is called,
on theground of social justice. If the employee who steals from the company is granted
separation pay even as he isvalidly dismissed, it is not unlikely that he will commit a similar
offense in his next employment because hethinks he can expect a like leniency if he is again
found out. This kind of misplaced compassion is not going to dolabor in general any good as it
will encourage the infiltration of its ranks by those who do not deserve theprotection and concern
of the Constitution.
Those who invoke social justice may do so only if their hands areclean and their motives
blameless and not simply because they happen to be poor.
We hold that the grant of separation pay in the case at bar is unjustified.
The private respondent hasbeen dismissed for dishonesty, as found by the labor arbiter and
affirmed by the NLRC and as she herself hasimpliedly admitted. The fact that she has worked
with the PLDT for more than a decade, if it is to be consideredat all, should be taken against her

as it reflects a regrettable lack of loyalty that she should have strengthenedinstead of betraying
during all of her 10 years of service with the company. If regarded as a justification
formoderating the penalty of dismissal, it will actually become a prize for disloyalty, perverting
the meaning of social justice and undermining the efforts of labor to cleanse its ranks of all
undesirables.
Star Paper Corporation vs. Simbol | Puno Case Digest
Star Paper Corporation vs. Simbol
487

SCRA

228

FACTS: Petitioner was the employer of the respondents. Under the policy of Star Paper the
employees
are:
1. New applicants will not be allowed to be hired if in case he/she has a relative, up to the 3rd
degree
of
relationship,
already
employed
by
the
company.
2. In case of two of our employees (singles, one male and another female) developed a friendly
relationship during the course of their employment and then decided to get married, one of them
should
resign
to
preserve
the
policy
stated
above.
Respondents Comia and Simbol both got married to their fellow employees. Estrella on the other
hand had a relationship with a co-employee resulting to her pregnancy on the belief that such
was separated. The respondents allege that they were forced to resign as a result of the
implementation
of
the
said
assailed
company
policy.
The Labor Arbiter and the NLRC ruled in favor of petitioner. The decision was appealed to the
Court of Appeals which reversed the decision.
ISSUE: Whether the prohibition to marry in the contract of employment is valid
HELD: It is significant to note that in the case at bar, respondents were hired after they were
found fit for the job, but were asked to resign when they married a co-employee. Petitioners
failed to show how the marriage of Simbol, then a Sheeting Machine Operator, to Alma Dayrit,
then an employee of the Repacking Section, could be detrimental to its business operations.
Neither did petitioners explain how this detriment will happen in the case of Wilfreda Comia,
then a Production Helper in the Selecting Department, who married Howard Comia, then a
helper in the cutter-machine. The policy is premised on the mere fear that employees married to
each other will be less efficient. If we uphold the questioned rule without valid justification, the
employer can create policies based on an unproven presumption of a perceived danger at the
expense
of
an
employees
right
to
security
of
tenure.
Petitioners contend that their policy will apply only when one employee marries a co-employee,
but they are free to marry persons other than co-employees. The questioned policy may not
facially violate Article 136 of the Labor Code but it creates a disproportionate effect and under
the disparate impact theory, the only way it could pass judicial scrutiny is a showing that it is
reasonable despite the discriminatory, albeit disproportionate, effect. The failure of petitioners to
prove a legitimate business concern in imposing the questioned policy cannot prejudice the
employees right to be free from arbitrary discrimination based upon stereotypes of married

persons

working

together

in

one

company.

Lastly, the absence of a statute expressly prohibiting marital discrimination in our jurisdiction
cannot benefit the petitioners. The protection given to labor in our jurisdiction is vast and
extensive that we cannot prudently draw inferences from the legislatures silence that married
persons are not protected under our Constitution and declare valid a policy based on a prejudice
or stereotype. Thus, for failure of petitioners to present undisputed proof of a reasonable business
necessity, we rule that the questioned policy is an invalid exercise of management prerogative.
Corollary, the issue as to whether respondents Simbol and Comia resigned voluntarily has
become
moot
and
academic.
In the case of Estrella, the petitioner failed to adduce proof to justify her dismissal. Hence, the
Court
ruled
that
it
was
illegal.
Petition was denied.

AMERICAN WIRE AND CABLE DAILY RATED EMPLOYEES UNION vs. AMERICAN
WIREAND CABLE CO., INC. and THE COURT OF APPEALS
Posted on July 9, 2013 by winnieclaire
Standard
G.R. No. 155059 (2D)April 29, 2005
FACTS:American Wire and Cable Co., Inc., is a corporation engaged in the manufacture of wires
and cables. There are two unions in this company, the American Wire andCable Monthly-Rated
Employees Union and the American Wire and Cable Daily-Rated Employees. An original action
was filed before the NCMB of the Departmentof Labor and Employment (DOLE) by the two
unions for voluntary arbitration. Thepetitioner submits that the withdrawal of the private
respondent of the 35%premium pay for selected days during the Holy Week and Christmas
season, theholding of the Christmas Party and its incidental benefits, and the giving of
serviceawards, which they have long enjoyed, violated Article 100 of the Labor Code.A decision
was rendered by the Voluntary Arbitrator in favor of the privaterespondent.Onappeal, CA
affirmed and upheld the Arbitrators decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not private respondent is guilty of violating Article 100 of the LaborCode, as
amended, when the benefits/entitlements given to the members of petitioner union were
withdrawn.
HELD: The Court ruled that respondent is not guilty of violating Art. 100 of the Labor Code.
ART. 100. PROHIBITION AGAINST ELIMINATION OR DIMINUTION OF BENEFITS.
Nothing in this Book shall be construed to eliminate or in any way diminishsupplements, or
other employee benefits being enjoyed at the time of promulgationof this Code.
The benefits and entitlements mentioned in the instant case are all considered bonuses which
were given by the private respondent out of its generosity andmunificence. A bonus is an amount
granted and paid to an employee for his industry and loyaltywhich contributed to the success of
the employers business and made possible therealization of profits. The granting of a bonus is a
management prerogative,something given in addition to what is ordinarily received by or strictly

due therecipient. Thus, a bonus is not a demandable and enforceable obligation, exceptwhen it is
made part of the wage, salary or compensation of the employee.
For a bonus to be enforceable, it must have been promised by the employer andexpressly agreed
upon by the parties or it must have had a fixed amount and had been a long and regular practice
on the part of the employer. The assailed benefitswere never subjects of any agreement between
the union and the company. It wasnever incorporated in the CBA. To be considered a regular
practice, the giving of the bonus should have beendone over a long period of time, and must be
shown to have been consistent anddeliberate. The downtrend in the grant of these two bonuses
over the yearsdemonstrates that there is nothing consistent about it. To hold that an employer
should be forced to distribute bonuses which it grantedout of kindness is to penalize him for his
past generosity.

Acua vs CA (2006) G.R. 159832


MERCEDITA ACUA, MYRNA RAMONES, and JULIET MENDEZ, Petitioners, vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and JOIN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION and/or
ELIZABETH ALAON,Respondents.
Facts:
Petitioners are Filipino overseas workers deployed by private respondent Join International
Corporation (JIC), a licensed recruitment agency, to its principal, 3D Pre-Color Plastic, Inc.,
(3D) in Taiwan, Republic of China, under a uniformly-worded employment contract for a period
of two years. Private respondent Elizabeth Alaon is the president of Join International
Corporation.

Sometime in September 1999, petitioners filed with private respondents applications for
employment abroad. After their papers were processed, petitioners claimed they signed a
uniformly-worded employment contract with private respondents which stipulated that they were
to work as machine operators with a monthly salary of NT$15,840.00, exclusive of overtime, for
a period of two years.

On December 9, 1999, they left for Taiwan. Upon arriving at the job site, a factory owned by 3D,
they were made to sign another contract which stated that their salary was only NT$11,840.00.
They were informed that the dormitory which would serve as their living quarters was still under
construction. They were requested to temporarily bear with the inconvenience but were assured
that their dormitory would be completed in a short time. Petitioners alleged that they were
brought to a "small room with a cement floor so dirty and smelling with foul odor". Forty women
were jampacked in the room and each person was given a pillow. Since the ladies' comfort room
was out of order, they had to ask permission to use the men's comfort room. Petitioners claim
they were made to work twelve hours a day, from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.

On December 16, 1999, due to unbearable working conditions, they were constrained to inform
management that they were leaving. They booked a flight home, at their own expense. Before
they left, they were made to sign a written waiver. In addition, petitioners were not paid any
salary for work rendered on December 11-15, 1999. Immediately upon arrival in the Philippines,

petitioners went to private respondents' office, narrated what happened, and demanded the return
of their placement fees and plane fare. Private respondents refused.

On December 28, 1999, private respondents offered a settlement. Petitioner Mendez received
P15,080. The next day, petitioners Acua and Ramones went back and received P13,640 10 and
P16,200, respectively. They claim they signed a waiver, otherwise they would not be refunded.

On January 14, 2000, petitioners Acua and Mendez invoking Republic Act No. 8042 filed a
complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment/underpayment of salaries or wages, overtime
pay, refund of transportation fare, payment of salaries/wages for 3 months, moral and exemplary
damages, and refund of placement fee before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

Issue: Whether or not petitioners were illegally dismissed under Rep. Act No. 8042, thus entitling
them to benefits plus damages.

Held: No illegal dismissal. Constructive dismissal covers the involuntary resignation


resorted to when continued employment becomes impossible, unreasonable or unlikely;
when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution in pay; or when a clear discrimination,
insensibility or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to an employee. Court found
that petitioners did not deny that the accommodations were not as homely as expected.
Petitioners' admitted that they were told by the principal, upon their arrival, that the dormitory
was still under construction and were requested to bear with the temporary inconvenience and
the dormitory would soon be finished. Petitioners did not refute private respondents' assertion
that they had deployed approximately sixty other workers to their principal, and to the best of
their knowledge, no other worker assigned to the same principal has resigned, much less, filed a
case for illegal dismissal. These cited circumstances do not reflect malice by private respondents
nor do they show the principal's intention to subject petitioners to unhealthy accommodations.
Under these facts, we cannot rule that there was constructive dismissal.
Overtime pay is granted despite petitioners lack of proof that they actually rendered overtime
work, since their employment records were in the custody of the principal employer. It is a timehonored rule that in controversies between a worker and his employer, doubts reasonably
arising from the evidence, or in the interpretation of agreements and writing should be
resolved in the worker's favor. private respondents are solidarily liable with the foreign
principal for the overtime pay claims of petitioners.

On the award of moral and exemplary damages, we hold that such award lacks legal basis.
Moral and exemplary damages are recoverable only where the dismissal of an employee
was attended by bad faith or fraud, or constituted an act oppressive to labor, or was done in
a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. The person claiming moral
damages must prove the existence of bad faith by clear and convincing evidence, for the law
always presumes good faith. Petitioners failed to prove bad faith, fraud or ill motive on the part
of private respondents. Moral damages cannot be awarded.

Without the award of moral damages, there can be no award of exemplary damages, nor
attorney's fees.

Quitclaims are valid. Quitclaims executed by the employees are commonly frowned upon as
contrary to public policy and ineffective to bar claims for the full measure of the workers' legal
rights, considering the economic disadvantage of the employee and the inevitable pressure upon
him by financial necessity. Nonetheless, the so-called "economic difficulties and financial crises"
allegedly confronting the employee is not an acceptable ground to annul the compromise
agreement unless it is accompanied by a gross disparity between the actual claim and the amount
of the settlement.

Records reveal that petitioners were not in any way deceived, coerced or intimidated into signing
a quitclaim waiver in the amounts of P13,640, P15,080 and P16,200 respectively. Nor was there
a disparity between the amount of the quitclaim and the amount actually due the petitioners.
After conversion to Philippine pesos, the amount of the quitclaim paid to petitioners was actually
higher than the amount due them.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED, without prejudice to the filing of illegal


recruitment complaint against the respondents pursuant to Section 6(i) of The Migrant Workers
and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 (Rep. Act No. 8042).

G.R. No. 181972 August 25, 2009 Chico-Nazario.,


J.
PHILIPPINE HOTELIERS, INC., DUSIT HOTEL NIKKO-MANILA
petitioner, vs
.NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS IN HOTEL, RESTAURANT AND ALLIED
INDUSTRIES(NUWHRAIN) - DUSIT HOTEL NIKKO CHAPTER,
respondent
.

11/5/01 - Wage Order No. 9 (WO#9) took effect. It granted


P 30 ECOLA to all private sector workersand employees in NCR with a daily
wage rate of P 250 to P 290
.

3/20/02 - NUWHRAIN (Union) sent a letter to Director Maraan of DOLE-NCR


reporting the
non-compliance of Dusit with the ECOLA required under WO#9 while there was
an ongoing compulsoryarbitration
before the NLRC due to a bargaining deadlock between the Union and Dusit.

Labor Standards Officer Navidad conducted 2 inspections of the hotel. The first
inspection revealed theemployees were receiving more than P 290 daily wage, hence
WO#9 did not apply (note: payrolls were notsubmitted yet). The second inspection
revealed there were
144 employees affected by WO#9
.


10/09/02 NLRC rendered a decision in the compulsory arbitration granting 3 rounds of
wageincreases
(P 500/mo. retroacting to Jan. 1, 2001; P 550/mo. in Jan 1, 2002; P 600/mo. in Jan.
1, 2003).

10/22/02 - DOLE-NCR issued a Compliance Order directing the hotel to pay the
144 affected employeesthe total amount of P1,218,240 corresponding to unpaid
ECOLA under WO#9, plus the penalty of doubleindemnity, pursuant to Section 12
of RA 6727.
o
Dusit filed an MR. It alleged the DOLE-NCR Order had become moot and academic
considering thewage increase granted by the NLRC, which took the employees out
of the coverage of WO#9.DOLE-NCR set aside its Order and dismissed the
complaint of the Union.
o
The Union appealed before the DOLE Secretary, maintaining the wage increases
granted by theNLRC should not be deemed compliance by Dusit with WO#9. DOLE
Acting Sec. Imson initiallygranted the Union's appeal, but later reversed upon
Dusit's MR. He admitted he had disregardedthat the wage increase granted in the
NLRC decision retroacted to Jan. 1, 2001. Hence, the wageincrease already
constituted complience with WO#9. Union filed an MR which was denied.
o
The Union appealed to the CA, which ruled in their favor. Referring to Section 13
of WO#9, the CAdeclared that wage increases/allowances granted by the employer
shall not be credited ascompliance with the prescribed increase in the WO, unless so
provided in the law or the CBA itself.CA ordered Dusit to pay ECOLA to the 144
employees. Dusit filed an MR which was denied.
W/N the 144 affected employees are still entitled to the ECOLA under WO#9
despite the wage increasesNO. Only 82 employees are still entitled to the
ECOLA (1st tranch) after applying the wage increase.

The reliance of the Union on Section 13 of WO#9 is misplaced. This section would
apply only if Dusitwere proposing to pay its employees the wage increases
in place of
the ECOLA. The position of Dusitis merely that the retroactive increases place said
employees
beyond the coverage
of WO No. 9.

The retroactively increased salaries of the employees granted in the NLRC decision
should be used asbases for determining W/N they were entitled to ECOLA under
WO#9. Otherwise, the Court would besanctioning unjust enrichment on the part of
the employees.

After applying the 1st round of the wage increase, only 82 hotel employees had
daily salaryrates falling within the range of P250 to P290.
Thus, upon the effectivity of WO#9, only the said 82employees were entitled to
receive the first tranch of ECOLA, equivalent to P15 per day.

After the 2nd round of the wage increase, the daily salary rates of all
hotel employees were alreadyabove P 290. Consequently, by 01/01/02, no hotel
employee was qualified to receive ECOLA.
W/N (as Dusit argues) the 82 employees' receipt of their shares in the service
charges alreadyconstituted substantial compliance with WO#9 NO.


Pursuant to Labor Code Art. 96, the hotel employees have a right to their share
in the service charges.Undoubtedly, their right to their shares in the service charges
collected by Dusit is distinct and separatefrom their right to ECOLA; gratification
by Dusit of one does not result in the satisfaction of the other.
W/N Dusit is liable for the penalty of double indemnity NO.

Under Section 2(m) of DOLE Department Order No. 10, Series of 1998, the Notice
of Inspection Result(issued prior to the Compliance Order) should contain an advice
that the employer shall be liable fordouble indemnity in case of refusal/failure to
correct the violation within 5 calendary days. Here, theNotice of Inspection Reult
dated 05/29/02 did not contain such an advice. This deprived Dusit of
theopportunity to decide and act accordingly within the 5-day period so as to avoid
the penalty.