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Christine Joy Capin-Cadiz vs Brent Hospital and G.R. No.

Colleges Inc
February 24, 2016 REYES, J.
TOPIC IN SYLLABUS: Women Employees
P was indefinitely suspended because she became pregnant out of wedlock. R, an institution of
the Episcopal Church, imposed suspension until she marries her bf. ISSUE: WON the condition
was valid. SC ruled that it was not valid. First, there was no showing that being pregnant out of
wedlock was grossly immoral as a sufficient ground for disciplinary action. Second (related to
the topic), the LC and Magna Carta of Women protect women against discrimination in matters
relating to marriage and family relations including the right to choose freely a spouse and
to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent. In this case, the condition
was coercive, oppressive and discriminatory. There is no reason for it. It deprives her of the
freedom to choose her status, which is a privilege inherent in her as an intangible right.

FACTS: Note: Prof. Sobrevias was said to be facts-heavy last semester.

P was the Human Resource Officer of R Brent Hospital when she was indefinitely
suspended in 2006 because of Ps unprofessionalism and unethical behavior resulting to
unwed pregnancy. She became pregnant out of wedlock so R imposed the suspension until
she marries her boyfriend
P filed with the LA a complaint for ULP, constructive dismissal, non-payment of wages and
damages with prayer for reinstatement
LA ruled that the indefinite suspension amounted to a constructive dismissal but ruled
that P was not illegally dismissed as there was just cause for dismissal, that is, she
engaged in premarital sexual relations with her bf resulting in a pregnancy out of wedlock.
LA stated that the immoral conduct was magnified since Brent is an institution of the
Episcopal Church. La ruled that she was not entitled to reinstatement until she marries her
bf. But Brent manifested that it was willing to pay her 1311 month pay.
P appealed to the NLRC. NLRC affirmed. MFR was denied.
CA dismissed the petition due to technical defects: incomplete statement of dates; failure
to attach registry receipts; failure to indicate place of issue of counsels PTR and IBP
official receipts. MFR was denied. CA ruled that there was no GAD and held that Ps
dismissal was valid

1. WON CA committed GAD in ruling that (1) Ps petition is dismissible on the
ground of technical deficiencies; and (2) that NLRC did not commit GAD in
upholding her dismissal from employment

PETITIONERS ARGUMENT/S: Optional. You can include in Held part, if digest would make
more sense that way.
1. P contends that getting pregnant outside of wedlock is not grossly immoral, especially
when both partners do not have any legal impediment to marry
2. P surmises that the reason for her suspension was not because of her relationship with
ther then bf but because of the resulting pregnancy.
3. P alleges that the condition for her reinstatement violates the stipulation against marriage
under LC 136.
4. P also contends that there was substantial compliance with the rules of procedure and
that CA should not have dismissed the petition

RESPONDENTS ARGUMENT: Optional. You can include in Held part, if digest would make
more sense that way.
1. R reiterates that Ps arguments are irrational and out of context.


2. R argues that for P to limit acts of immorality only to extra-marital affairs is to change the
noms, beliefs and teachings of Brent as a Church institution

1. Rules of procedure are mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice
ROC Rule 46 Sec 3 states that the contents of petition filed with the CA shall indicate
material dates when a motion for new trial or reconsideration was filed. Rational is to
enable CA to determine if it was filed within the period fixed in the rules. Ps failure to
state the date of receipt of the NLRC decision is not fatal since the more important date is
the date of receipt of the resolution of denial of MFR, which was duly complied with.
The failure to attach the registry receipt was also fatal but Courts finds that the ends of
substantial justice would be better served by relaxing the application of technical rules of
Regarding the counsels failure to indicate the place where the IBP and PTR receipts were
issued, there was substantial compliance since it was indicated in the verification and cert
of non-forum shopping

2. Immorality as a just cause for termination of employment

One of the grounds for disciplinary action under Brents policies is immorality which is
punishable by dismissal at first offense. Its Manual of Policies enumerates acts of
immorality such as scandalous behavior, acts of lasciviousness against any person within
hospital premises.
Mannual of Regulations for Private Schools Sec 94 lists disgraceful or immoral conduct
as a cause for terminating employment
SC used the ruling in Lens vs Scholasticas College which involved the employer as
Catholic and sectarian educational institution and the P worked as an assistant to the
schools director of the Lay Apostolate and Community Outreach Directorate. P was
dismissed by the school for having borne a child out of wedlock. SC here ruled that the
determination of whether a conduct is disgraceful or immoral involves a 2-stop process:
o (a) a consideration of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the conduct; and
o (b) an assessment of the said circumstances vis--vis the prevailing norms of
In the case at bar, SC ruled that the facts do not equate to disgraceful and immoral
conduct. The Policy Manual and Employees Manual of Policies do not define what
constitutes immorality; it simply stated immorality as a ground.
Jurisprudence set the standard of morality with which an act should be gauged it is
public and secular, not religious. Determination WON it is immoral should be made in
accordance with the prevailing norms of conduct which refer to those conducts which are
proscribed because they are detrimental to conditions upon which depend the
existence and progress of human society. The fact that an act does not conform to
the traditional moral views of a sectarian institution is not sufficient. Also, there must be
substantial evidence to establish that premarital sexual relations and pregnancy out of
wedlock is considered disgraceful or immoral.
Totality does not justify that the acts are immoral. They were both single and had no legal
impediment to marry when it was committed. They actually got married. There was no
proof to support the sweeping conclusion of the labor tribunals. SC also ruled that P did
not flaunt her premarital relations and was not carried under scandalous circumstances
The fact that is was a sectarian institution does not automatically subject Cadiz to its
religious standard of morality absent an express statement in its manual of personnel
policy prescribing such religious standard.

3. Marriage as a condition for reinstatement (related to our topic)

Doctrine of management prerogative gives ER the right to regulate all aspects of
employment. Here, Brent imposed on P the condition that she subsequently contract
marriage with her bf for her to be reinstated. This was in consonance with the policy
against encouraging common-law relations that would subvert the sacrament of marriage.
LC provides that it shall be unlawful to require as a condition of employment or
continuation that upon getting married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or
separated, or to actually dismiss, discharge, discriminate or otherwise prejudice a woman
employee merely by reason of her marriage.
RA 9710 or Magna Carta of Women protects women against discrimination in all matters
relating to marriage and family relations, including the right to choose freely a spouse
and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent.
SC ruled that Rs condition is coercive, oppressive and discriminatory. There is no reason
for it. It deprives her of the freedom to choose her status, which is a privilege that inheres
in her as an intangible right
Brent must prove 2 factors: (1) it is reasonably related to the essential operation of the
job involved; and (2) there is a factual basis to believe that all persons meeting the
qualification would be unable to properly perform the duties of the job. But Brent failed to
proves these hence, Court cannot uphold validity of such.
P is entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and payment of backwages
from the time compensation was withheld to actual reinstatement. If not possible,
separation pay must be awarded.It must not go beyond the date an EE was deemed to
have been actually separated from employment, or beyond the date when reinstatement
was rendered impossible. Here, it must be pegged based on the findings that she was
employed on Aug 16, 2002 based on her complaint, she admitted being dismissed on Nov
17, 2006.
GR: Backwages is reckoned from date of illegal dismissal until actual reinstatement but if
sep pay is ordered in lieu of reinstatement, it is from time of dismissal until finality of the
decision. So must be from Nov 17, 2006 but because of the constitutional policy of
providing full protection to labor. Fairness and equity dictate that backwages shall be
equivalent to 1 year or P109,304.
Re moral and exemplary damages: Absent clear and convincing evidence showing that
dismissal had been carried out in an arbitrary, capricious and malicious manner, these
cannot be awarded.
Attys fees: Granted 10%