LABOR STANDARDS DIGESTS ATTY.

NOLASCO - 2010
MAGALLANES v. SUN YAT SEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 542 SCRA 79 Held: Facts: 1. Petitioners were all employed as teachers in the Sun Yat Sen Elementary School in Surigao City. The respondents are the principals, directors and the school¶s treasurer. On May 22, 1994, respondents terminated the services of petitioners. Thus, the petitioners filed for a case of illegal dismissal. LA a Decision declaring that petitioners were illegally dismissed. Respondents were likewise directed to pay petitioners moral and exemplary damages and be reinstated. The NLRC reversed the LAµs decision, holding that petitioners are contractual employees. MR was denied by the NLRC. The CA meanwhile ruled in favor of the petitioners. However, instead of reinstatement, petitioners are entitled to separation pay. The respondents filed for a MR but it was denied by the CA. Respondents then filed with the SC a petition for certiorari. However, it was dismissed for lack of merit. Meanwhile, on October 4, 2000, petitioners filed with the LA a motion for execution. In an Order dated January 8, 2001, the Labor Arbiter computed the petitioners¶ monetary awards reckoned from the time of their illegal dismissal in June 1994 up to October 29, 1999, pursuant to the Decision of the Court of Appeals. Respondents interposed an appeal to the NLRC (docketed as NLRC Case No. M-006176-2001), contending that the computation should only be up to June 20, 1995 (the date indicated in the Labor Arbiter¶s Decision). In an Order dated March 30, 2001, the NLRC modified the Labor Arbiter¶s computation and ruled that the monetary awards due to petitioners should be computed from June 1994 up to June 20, 1995. Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. However, in its Resolution of October 29, 2001, the petition was dismissed outright for their failure to attach to their petition copies of the pleadings filed with the Labor Arbiter. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, but they erroneously indicated therein the case number as CA-G.R. SP No. 50531, instead of CA-G.R. SP No. 67068. Their error was compounded by stating that the petition was with the Special Sixteenth Division, instead of the Seventh Division. As a result, the motion was merely noted. On realizing their mistake, petitioners then filed with the Seventh Division a Motion to Transfer the Case to it. It was denied. Issue: 1. 2. The CA did not err. However for the interest of justice, the motion should be given cognizance.
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In Llantero v. Court of Appeals, we ruled that where a pleading bears an erroneous docket number and thus "could not be attached to the correct case," the said pleading is, for all intents and purposes, "non-existent." It has neither the duty nor the obligation to correct the error or to transfer the case to the Seventh Division. However, we opt for liberality in the application of the rules to the instant case in light of the following considerations. First, the rule that negligence of counsel binds the client may be relaxed where adherence thereto would result in outright deprivation of the client¶s liberty or 5 property or where the interests of justice so require. Second, this Court is not a slave of technical rules. Technicalities take a backseat against substantive rights. Thus, if the application of the rules would tend to frustrate rather than promote justice, it is always within this Court¶s 6 power to suspend the rules or except a particular case from its application. This case involving a labor dispute has dragged on for over a decade now. Petitioners have waited too long for what is due them under the law. 2. The decision should be computed from the time of their illegal dismissal up to the time of the promulgation of the decision.

This Decision was promulgated on October 28, 1999. The respondents¶ motion for reconsideration was denied by the Court of Appeals (Former Special Sixteenth Division) on January 13, 2000. On April 12, 2000, this Court dismissed respondents¶ petition for certiorari, docketed as G.R. No. 142270, and denied their motion for reconsideration with finality as early as July 19, 2000. We sustain petitioners¶ contention that the NLRC, in modifying the award of the Court of Appeals, committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Quasijudicial agencies have neither business nor power to modify or amend the final and executory Decisions of the appellate courts. Under the principle of immutability of judgments, any alteration or amendment which substantially affects a final and executory judgment is void 8 for lack of jurisdiction. We thus rule that the Order dated March 30, 2001 of the NLRC directing that the monetary award should be computed from June 1994, the date petitioners were dismissed from the service, up to June 20, 1995 only, is void.

W/N the CA erred in holding that the motion was nonexistent due to the erroneous doceket number? NO W/N the payment of back wages should be reckoned with October 1999? YES

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Thus. they filed a complaint before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB). Respondent protested the prorated scheme. 164 SCRA 671 Facts: Marilyn Abucay. hence this petition. The NLRC ruled in favor of PLDT.800. According to petitioner. 1994." Said mandate in turn is the basis of Article 4 of the Labor Code which states that "all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of this Code. We hold that henceforth separation pay shall be allowed as a measure of social justice only in those instances where the employee is validly dismissed for causes other than serious misconduct or those reflecting on his moral character. The principle of non-diminution of benefits is founded on the Constitutional mandate to "protect the rights of workers and promote their 15 16 welfare. 13 2 . thereby rejecting the claim that petitioner erred in paying full benefits to its seven employees.LABOR STANDARDS DIGESTS ATTY. We hold that henceforth separation pay shall be allowed as a measure of social justice only in those instances where the employee is validly dismissed for causes other than serious misconduct or those reflecting on his moral character. The Court of Appeals ruled that the CBA did not intend to foreclose the application of prorated payments of leave benefits to covered employees. Issue: W/N the relief awarded was proper? NO! Held: Petition Granted. We disagree.2010 ARCO METAL PRODUCTS CO. Any benefit and supplement being enjoyed by employees cannot be reduced. NLRC ± G. No. But where the cause of the separation is more serious than mere inefficiency. claiming that on several occasions petitioner did not prorate the payment of the same benefits to seven (7) employees who had not served for the full 12 months. irrespective of the actual service rendered within one year has not ripened into a practice. bonus. diminished. the prorated payment violates the rule against diminution of benefits under Article 100 of the Labor Code. th th 1999. The Ministry of Labor ruled in favor of PLDT.R. it was only in 2003 that the accounting department discovered the error "when there were already three (3) employees involved with prolonged absences and the error was corrected by implementing the pro-rata payment of 12 benefits pursuant to law and their existing CBA. NOLASCO .00 in consideration of her promise to facilitate approval of their applications for telephone installation. which is less than a full twelve (12) months. The voluntary arbitrator. Sometime in December 2003. and leave encashment of three union members in amounts proportional to the service they actually rendered in a year. The appellate court found that petitioner. 554 SCRA 111 Facts: Petitioner is a company engaged in the manufacture of metal products. Issue: W/N the payment in full of the 13 month benefit was an isolated case? NO Held: Petition Denied According to petitioner. Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the decision but its motion was denied. The parties submitted the case for voluntary arbitration. the generosity of the law must be more discerning. PLDT however challenged decision of the NLRC because the awarded separation pay out of equity." and "to afford labor full protection. however. Petitioner claims that its full payment of benefits regardless of the length of service to the company does not constitute voluntary employer practice. It points out that the payments had been erroneously made and they occurred in isolated cases in the years 1992. The giving of the contested benefits in full. 80609. was accused by two complainants of having demanded and received from them the total amount of P3. CA ruled in favor of the respondents.. She was found guilty by PLDT. there is a one-year cutoff in the entitlement to the benefits provided in the CBA which is evident from the wording of its pertinent provisions as well as of the existing law. INC." PLDT v. SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA ARCO METAL ± NAFLU (SAMARM-NAFLU). According to respondent. 1993. had an existing voluntary practice of paying the aforesaid benefits in full to its employees. including its implementing rules and regulations shall be rendered in favor of labor. ruled in favor of petitioner. a traffic operator of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. 14 discontinued or eliminated by the employer. 2002 and 2003." Petitioner describes the situation as a "clear oversight" which should not be taken against it. There is no doubt it is compassionate to give separation pay to a salesman if he is dismissed for his inability to fill his quota but surely he does not deserve such generosity if his offense is misappropriation of the receipts of his sales. whereas respondent is the labor union of petitioner¶s rank and file employees. petitioner paid the 13 month pay. This is no longer mere incompetence but clear dishonesty.

. NOLASCO . . a dishonest employee cannot be rewarded with separation pay or any financial benefit after his culpability is established in two decisions by competent labor tribunals. Issue: W/N the LA and NLRC acted in GADLEJ? YES Held Petition Granted In Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company vs. Torres was employed by petitioner San Miguel Corporation (SMC) on November 1. namely: (a) the selection and engagement of the employee." The policy of social justice is not intended to countenance wrongdoing simply because it is committed by the underprivileged. Indeed. On 2 March 2000. an offense involving moral turpitude . Torres filed a complaint for illegal dismissal was filed.00 and of borrowing money and merchandise from customers. Those who invoke social justice may do so only if their hands are clean and their motives blameless and not simply because they happen to be poor. he was dismissed. which decisions appear to be wall-supported by the evidence. and SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION v. . The CA reversed the decision of the NLRC. we held that in the case of employees separated from the service for just and valid cause due to ". would be to send a wrong signal not only that "crime pays" but also that one can enrich himself at the expense of another in the name of social justice. the employer may not be required to give the dismissed employee separation pay. 1978 as a Route Salesman. there must first be justice for all. He was detailed at Broadway Centrum in Quezon City where "Eat Bulaga!" regularly staged its productions. Respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and nonpayment of benefits against TAPE. TAPE averred that respondent was an independent contractor falling under the talent group category and was working under a special arrangement which is recognized in 5 the industry. The LA ruled in favor of SMC but granted Torres his retirement pay on humanitarian reasons. (b) the payment of wages. before there can be an occasion for compassion and mercy. Respondent Roberto C. NLRC. Otherwise. Respondent for his part insisted that he was a regular employee having been engaged to 6 perform an activity that is necessary and desirable to TAPE¶s business for thirteen (13) years. Verily. In a motion to dismiss which was treated as its position paper. NLRC. (c) the power of dismissal. He alleged that he was first connected with Agro-Commercial Security Agency but was later on absorbed by TAPE as a regular company guard. To hold otherwise. like the workers who have tainted the cause of labor with the blemishes of their own character. As such. Compassion for the poor is an imperative of every humane society but only when the recipient is not a rascal claiming an undeserved privilege. respondent received a memorandum informing him of his impending dismissal on account of TAPE¶s decision to contract the services of a professional security agency. 325 PHIL 940 Facts: Private respondent Virgilio S. Issue: W/N respondent is a regular employee? YES Misappropriation is a species of dishonesty and is therefore an offense involving moral turpitude. This great policy of our Constitution is not meant for the protection of those who have proved they are not worthy of it. et a1. . such as the long-running variety program.LABOR STANDARDS DIGESTS ATTY. 542 SCRA 578 Facts: TAPE is a domestic corporation engaged in the production of television programs.898. in the name of social justice and compassion.2010 expectation that eventually. Social justice cannot be permitted to be refuge of scoundrels any more than can equity be an impediment to the punishment of the guilty. Servaña had served as a security guard for TAPE from March 1987 until he was terminated on 3 March 2000. LA declared respondent to be a regular employee of TAPE. were observed. dishonesty and duplicity. she ruled in favor of the respondent. TELEVISION PRODUCTION EXPONENTS. . Certainly. At best it may mitigate the penalty but it certainly will not condone the offense. a contrary holding will merely encourage lawlessness. even in the name of compassion. INC. on the ground of social justice. or whatever name it is called. These are not the values that society cherishes. 9 3 . "Eat Bulaga!". NLRC reversed the decision of the LA. or financial assistance. TAPE countered that the labor arbiter had no jurisdiction over the case in the absence of an employer-employee relationship between the parties. namely just cause and due process. the NLRC ruled in favor of Torres. In finding that the twin requirements for legal dismissal. these are the habits that it abhors. they will not be penalized but instead financially rewarded. Having been found guilty of multiple misappropriation of company funds in the sum of P12.. employees will be encouraged to steal and misappropriate in the Held: Petition Denied The existence of employer-employee relationship. v. And courts as well as quasi-judicial entities will be overrun by petitioners mouthing dubious pleas for misplaced social justice. SERVANA.

petitioner did not receive her salary from the company. For the right to hire and fire is another important element of the employer-employee relationship.500. or for a span of 5 years. By informing petitioner through the Memorandum dated 2 March 2000. petitioner did not report for work and filed an action for constructive dismissal before the labor arbiter. The theory of private respondents that petitioner is an independent contractor runs counter to their very own allegation that petitioner is a talent or a program employee. She was also designated as Liaison Officer to the City of Makati to secure business permits. petitioner would be free to report for work anytime even not during the noontime program of "Eat Bulaga!" from 11:30 a. Since she was no longer paid her salary. NLRC. an identification card is usually provided not just as a security measure but to mainly identify the holder thereof as a bona fide employee of 22 the firm who issues it. In 1996. She was designated as Accountant and Corporate Secretary and was assigned to handle all the accounting needs of the company. 2001. private respondents themselves admitted having engaged the services of petitioner only in 1995 after TAPE severed its relations with RPN Channel 9. On October 15. The position of TAPE is untenable. The selection and hiring of petitioner was done by private respondents. respondent was absorbed by TAPE or. It is 18 a form of control by the management of private respondent TAPE. NOLASCO . petitioner was replaced by Liza R.LABOR STANDARDS DIGESTS ATTY. stills. respondent had been continuously under the employ of TAPE from 1995 until his termination in March 2000. 500 SCRA 690 (2006) Facts: In 1995. Payment of wages is one of the four factors to be considered in determining the existence of employer-employee relation. The daily time cards of petitioner are not just for mere record purposes as claimed by private respondents. and still gets his compensation for being a "talent. private respondents in effect acknowledged petitioner to be their employee. Second. The corporation also hired Gerry Nino as accountant in lieu of petitioner. he is being paid for being the security of "Eat Bulaga!" during the above-mentioned period. Petitioner alleged that she was required to sign a prepared resolution for her replacement but she was assured that she would still be connected with Kasei Corporation. In January 2001. Respondent presented his identification card to prove that he is indeed an employee of TAPE. Private respondents averred that petitioner is not an employee of Kasei Corporation. . Kasei Corporation reduced her salary by P2. FRANCISCO v. An independent contractor is not an employee of the employer. petitioner was designated Acting Manager. It has been in held that in a business establishment. "retained as talent. Payment as admitted by private respondents was given by them on a monthly basis at a rate of P5. Even granting arguendo that respondent is a program employee. Under the control test.44. The Court of Appeals had this to say: 21 We cannot subscribe to private respondents¶ conflicting theories." Precisely. her consultancy may be terminated any time considering that her services were only temporary in nature and dependent on the needs of the corporation. petitioner performed her work at her own discretion without control and supervision of Kasei Corporation. In fact. When the security agency¶s contract with RPN-9 expired in 1995. construction permits and other licenses for the initial 5 operation of the company. Of the four elements of the employer-employee relationship.00. that his services will be terminated as soon as the services of the newly hired security agency begins." Clearly. More importantly. She made repeated follow-ups with the company 10 cashier but she was advised that the company was not earning well. Fuentes as Manager. Respondent was first connected with Agro-Commercial Security Agency. respondent was hired by TAPE. in the 20 latter¶s language.m. First. Petitioner¶s designation as technical consultant depended solely upon the will of management. classifying him as an independent contractor is misplaced. to 1:00 p. the "control test" is the most important. As technical consultant.2010 (d) the employer's power to control the employee with respect to the means and method by 16 which the work is to be accomplished. Petitioner was not paid her midyear bonus allegedly because the company was not earning well. there is an employer-employee relationship when the person for whom the services are performed reserves the right to control not only the end achieved but also the 17 manner and means used to achieve that end. Third. As such. The most important factor involves the control test. x x x The bundy cards representing the time petitioner had reported for work are evident proofs of private respondents¶ control over petitioner more particularly with the time he is required to report for work during the noontime program of "Eat Bulaga!" If it were not so. respondent is still considered a regular employee under Article 280 of the Labor Code. Regardless of whether or not respondent had been performing work that is necessary or desirable to the usual business of TAPE. They alleged that petitioner was hired in 1995 as one of its technical consultants on accounting matters and act concurrently as Corporate Secretary. Thereafter. while a talent or program employee is an employee. 4 . On October 2001. petitioner asked for her salary from Acedo and the rest of the officers but 11 she was informed that she is no longer connected with the company. which assigned him to assist TAPE in its live productions.444.m. . petitioner was hired by Kasei Corporation during its incorporation stage.

The corporation constructively dismissed petitioner when it reduced her salary by P2.2010 LA ruled in favor of the petitioner. 2000. 544 SCRA 279 Facts: Melvin R. as he imposed discipline on them if the need arose. The CA however. Manuel Gaspar E. on July 28. there is no doubt that petitioner is an employee of Kasei Corporation because she was under the direct control and supervision of Seiji Kamura.. In Sevilla v. in charge of the areas of Albay and Catanduanes with travel and transportation allowances and a service car. The top management was misled into believing that respondent¶s area of responsibility obtained a favorable collection efficiency. Court of Appeals. Issue: W/N was the petitioner illegally dismissed? YES Held: Petition Granted. A special audit team was conducted in respondent's office in Legaspi. in addition to the standard of right-of-control like the inclusion of the employee in the payrolls. where the petitioner is entitled to full backwages. 2000 when it was found out that respondent forwarded the monthly collection reports of the NICs under his supervision without checking the veracity of the same. The CA affirmed the decision of the NLRC. The NLRC affirmed the decision of the LA. and that as a leader. LA ruled in favor of the petitioner. Gnilo (respondent) was initially hired by Norkis Trading Co. In a letter dated July 27. respondent filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) a complaint for illegal suspension. that he only checked at random the NIC's monthly collection highlight reports. or when a clear discrimination. 2000. However. Inc. when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution in pay. He however denied being lax in supervising his subordinates.-Legaspi Branch. This amounts to an illegal termination of employment. During the investigation. Respondent was then charged by petitioners' Inquiry Assistance Panel (Panel) with negligence of basic duties and responsibilities resulting in loss of trust and confidence and laxity in directing and supervising his own subordinates. 13th month pay. which position respondent subsequently assumed. petitioner Norkis through its Human Resource Manager issued a 3 memorandum placing respondent under 15 days suspension without pay. Inc. Constructive dismissal is an involuntary resignation resulting in cessation of work resorted to 21 when continued employment becomes impossible. It appeared that the monthly collection highlights for the months of April to September 1999 submitted by respondent to the top management were all overstated. The NLRC reversed the decision of the LA. Respondent was then assigned to the Marketing Division directly reporting to petitioner Albos.500 a month from January to September 2001. Albay from March 13 to April 5. unreasonable or unlikely. Under the broader economic reality test. By applying the control test. receiving check vouchers indicating her salaries/wages. the petitioner can likewise be said to be an employee of respondent corporation because she had served the company for six years before her dismissal. and (2) the underlying economic realities of the activity or relationship. (petitioner Norkis) as Norkis Installment Collector (NIC) in April 1988. NOLASCO . 2000. bonuses and allowances. (petitioner Albos) is the Senior Vice-President of petitioner Norkis. 5 5 . in lieu of reinstatement. to give a clearer picture in determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship based on an analysis of the totality of economic circumstances of the worker. GNILO. On May 30. The better approach would therefore be to adopt a two-tiered test involving: (1) the putative employer¶s power to control the employee with respect to the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished. on October 4. Thus. and under the principle of strained relations. 1999 to December 18. we observed the need to consider the existing economic conditions prevailing between the parties. Albos. However. respondent was formally appointed as Marketing Assistant to petitioner Albos. A diminution of pay is prejudicial to the employee and amounts to constructive dismissal. petitioner is further 34 entitled to separation pay. Since the position of petitioner as accountant is one of trust and confidence. the corporation¶s Technical Consultant. respondent requested petitioner Albos that he be assigned as Sales Engineer or to any position commensurate with his qualifications. Jr. It is therefore apparent that petitioner is economically dependent on respondent corporation for her continued employment in the latter¶s line of business. NORKIS TRADING v.LABOR STANDARDS DIGESTS ATTY. as well as deductions and Social Security contributions from August 1. respondent admitted that he was negligent for failing to regularly check the report of each NIC under his supervision. 2000. 2000. insensibility or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to an employee. reversed the decision of the NLRC. benefits. the determination of the relationship between employer and employee depends upon the circumstances of the whole economic activity. Respondent held various positions in the company until he was appointed as Credit and Collection Manager of Magna Financial Services Group. The proper standard of economic dependence is whether the worker is dependent on the alleged employer for his continued employment in that line of business. petitioner Norkis¶s sister company. he is responsible for the actions of his subordinates.

or disdain by an employer becomes so unbearable on the part of the employee as to foreclose any choice on his part except to resign from such employment. benefits and other 14 privileges and the action is not motivated by discrimination. 551 SCRA 410 Facts: Ernesto M. one for his AWOPs from 26 May to 2 June 1997 and another for falsification of medical consultation card entries for 28 April and 8 May 1997. Respondent did not comply with these [10] notices. Likewise. insensibility or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to the employee. On 5 June 1997. the employee¶s transfer shall be tantamount to constructive dismissal. The LA rendered his Decision. NLRC. is the "advancement from one position to another with an increase in duties and responsibilities as authorized by law. SMC accordingly dismissed him. NOLASCO . privileges and other benefits. Should the employer fail to overcome this burden of 19 proof. absences without permission or AWOPs. or 15 effected as a form of punishment or demotion without sufficient cause. SMC conducted an administrative investigation on 17 and 23 June 1997. He could have been transferred to a job of managerial position and not to that of a Marketing Assistant. Respondent¶s demotion in the nature of his functions coupled with petitioner Albos¶s act of insensibility no doubt amounts to his constructive dismissal. and usually accompanied by an 23 increase in salary. respondent submitted a handwritten explanation to the charges denying the falsification charge. without break in service. leaving him with no option but to 21 forego his continued employment. respondent was alleged to have falsified his medical consultation card by stating therein that he was granted sick leave by the plant clinic on said dates when in truth he was not." Promotion. He was again issued two Notices to Explain both dated 3 June 1997. For his [7] absences on 2. respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against SMC. There is constructive dismissal when an employee's functions. inconvenient or prejudicial to the employee. There is also constructive dismissal when an act of clear discrimination. were reduced. The same Policy on Employee Conduct also punishes falsification of company records or documents with discharge or termination for the first offense if the offender himself or somebody [6] else benefits from falsification or would have benefited if falsification is not found on time. he was given a written warning dated 9 May 1997 that he had already incurred five (5) AWOPs and that further absences would be subject to disciplinary action. respondent was AWOP on a number of dates. 22 level or salary. unreasonable or unlikely. On 30 March 1998. The employer bears the burden of showing that the transfer is not unreasonable. This privilege is inherent in the right of employers to control and manage their 16 enterprises effectively. In this case. with a corresponding decrease in duties and responsibilities. constructive dismissal exists when an act of clear discrimination. demotion involves a situation in which an employee is relegated to a subordinate or less important position constituting a reduction to a lower grade or rank. such transfer should be done without diminution of rank and benefits which has been shown to be present in respondent's case. and does not involve a demotion in rank or a diminution of his 18 salaries. The labor arbiter believed that respondent had committed the absences pointed out by SMC but found the imposition of termination of employment based on his AWOPs to be disproportionate since SMC failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that it had strictly implemented its company policy on absences. while the transfer of respondent from Credit and Collection Manager to Marketing Assistant did not result in the reduction of his salary. For his absences on 28 and 29 April and 7 and 8 May. SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION v. 4 and 11 January and 28 and 29 April. made in bad faith. which were originally supervisory in nature. It also [4] 6 . After the completion of the investigation." Conversely. Respondent was required to explain his AWOPs. provided that there is no demotion in rank or diminution of his salary.2010 Issue: W/N was the transfer of position is considered to be constructive dismissal? YES Held: Petition Denied. Not satisfied with the explanation. It appears that per company records. SMC concluded that respondent committed the offenses of excessive AWOPs and falsification of company records or documents because of the testimony of the staff assistant and the plant doctor. insensibility. and such reduction is not grounded on valid grounds such as genuine 25 business necessity. We have consistently recognized and upheld the prerogative of management to transfer an employee from one office to another within the business establishment. A transfer is defined as a "movement from one position to another which is of equivalent rank. and usually accompanied by 24 a decrease in salary. which are absences not covered either by a certification of the plant doctor that the employee was absent due to sickness or by a duly approved application for leave of absence filed at least six (6) days prior to the intended leave. when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution of 20 pay. Ibias (respondent) was employed by petitioner SMC on 24 December 1978 initially as a CRO operator in its Metal Closure and Lithography Plant. there was a reduction in his duties and responsibilities which amounted to a demotion tantamount to a constructive dismissal as correctly held by the NLRC and the CA. Constructive dismissal is defined as a quitting because continued employment is rendered impossible. While petitioners have the prerogative to transfer respondent to another position. are subject to disciplinary action. on the other hand.LABOR STANDARDS DIGESTS ATTY. According to SMC¶s Policy on Employee Conduct. for the respondent.

the employer has the choice to do so strictly or not. Respondent cannot feign surprise nor ignorance of the earlier AWOPs he had incurred. No. respondent denied having had any knowledge of said falsification. In the proceedings below he claimed that during the days that he was absent. SEAFDEC-AQD claimed that the NLRC has no jurisdiction over the case. we consider as leniency. Thailand. Of course. He did not even claim that he had requested for. his services shall be terminated. are entitled to respect and enforcement in the interest of simple fair play. Management also has its own rights. is another matter. The fact that he was spared from suspension cannot be used as a reason to incur further AWOPs and be absolved from the penalty therefor. the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming the findings of the LA and NLRC. the Supreme Court has inclined more often than not toward the worker and upheld his cause in his conflicts with the employer. enjoys functional independence and freedom from control of the state in whose territory its office is located. the same remained on record. which. The Court agrees with the tribunals below that SMC was unable to prove the falsification charge against respondent. should take the blame for the loss and alleged tampering thereof. substantial evidence is the least [24] demanding in the hierarchy of evidence. since this is inherent in its right to control and manage its business effectively. however. NOLASCO . NLRC ± G. and not respondent who had no control over the same. even if he was not punished for his subsequent AWOPs. before the Court. SEAFDEC including its Departments (AQD). he had attended to some family matters. management has the prerogative to impose sanctions lighter than those specifically prescribed by its rules. has not blinded the Court to rule that justice is in every case for the deserving. The LA and NLRC ruled in favor of Lazaga. The issue of the unauthorized absences. 86773 Facts: Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) is a department of an international organization. bearing in mind the requirements of justice and fair play. Lacanilao in his capacity as Chief of SEAFDEC-AQD sent a notice of termination to private respondent informing him that due to the financial constraints being experienced by the department. the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. both in his testimony during the company-level investigation and in his handwritten explanation. he also seeks to belittle the plain by countering that SMC has not been too rigid in its application of company rules pertaining to leave availments. On 28 June 2000. in the implementation of its rules and policies.LABOR STANDARDS DIGESTS ATTY. He was aware of the number of AWOPs he incurred and should have known that these were punishable under company rules. however. being responsible for the medical cards. Thus. equally reasonable. Consequently. It is axiomatic that appropriate disciplinary sanction is within the purview of management [37] imposition. who both stated that respondent admitted to them that he falsified his medical consultation card to cover up his excessive AWOPs. For his part. Thus. Such favoritism. even if other minds. this prerogative must be exercised free of grave abuse of discretion. Issue: W/N NLRC has jurisdiction over the case? NO Held: Petition Granted 7 . SMC merely relied on the testimonies of Marabe and Siwa.2010 noted that termination based on the alleged falsification of company records was unwarranted in view of SMC¶s failure to establish respondent¶s guilt. to be [38] dispensed in the light of the established facts and applicable law and doctrine. as such. might conceivably opine otherwise. However. Juvenal Lazaga was employed as a Research Associate. nor had been granted any sick leave for the days that the falsified entries were made. Thus. Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla of evidence or relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Siwa. SEAFDEC ± AQD v. Out of its concern for those with [fewer] Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) is an international agency beyond the jurisdiction of public respondent NLRC. Respondent¶s dismissal was well within the purview of SMC¶s management prerogative. or to condone completely the violations of its erring employees. SEAFDEC-AQD's failure to pay Lazaga his separation pay forced him to file a case with the NLRC. privileges in life. What the lower tribunals perceived as laxity. Respondent cannot be legally dismissed on the basis of the uncorroborated and self-serving testimonies of SMC¶s employees. while respondent has admitted these absences. The settled rule in administrative and quasi-judicial proceedings is that proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required in determining the legality of an employer¶s dismissal of an employee and not even a preponderance of evidence is necessary as substantial evidence is considered sufficient.R. organized through an agreement entered into in Bangkok. Being an intergovernmental organization. He was even given a warning. The NLRC affirmed the decision of the LA. Issue: W/N the respondent was illegally dismissed? NO Held: Petition partly granted.

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