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JUAN P.

VILLENO, petitioner, vs NLRC Facts:

(2) Will the fact that petitioner had served his employer for twenty-seven (27) years without committing any infraction of company rules play a crucial role in determining his liability? NO Held:

Petitioner Juan P. Villeno was employed as electrician in one of the vessels of private respondent Sulpicio Lines, Inc. Twenty-seven (27) years. M/V Sulpicio Container XI after leaving the port was forced to return due to the death of the purser on board. Upon reaching port, the crew members were instructed not to leave the vessel as it would pursue its voyage immediately after turning over the body to the proper authorities. The petitioner, without seeking permission, left the vessel purportedly to settle a marital problem. Before leaving he disconnected the ship's steering line cable so that the vessel could not leave port without him. According to petitioner, when he returned to the port thirty (30) minutes later, the ship was only a few inches away from the wharf but was prevented by a representative of respondent corporation from boarding the vessel. It turned out that the vessel had hired another electrician to reconnect the steering line cable. After evaluation of the evidence he was found guilty of intentionally sabotaging the operation of the vessel, a serious misconduct, compounded by willful disobedience justifying the penalty of dismissal. Petitioner filed a complaint against private respondents for illegal dismissal. LA - ruled that petitioner was indeed guilty of misconduct but found the penalty of dismissal harsh considering that there was no evidence showing that petitioner intended to sabotage the voyage of the vessel. NLRC - the circumstances that petitioner had been employed by respondent corporation for a long period of time and that it was his first offense were not by themselves sufficient to warrant mitigation of the consequences of his serious misconduct. What were material were the facts that he disembarked from the vessel despite explicit instruction to the contrary, and he disconnected the steering line cable so that the vessel could not leave, which in the context of respondent corporation's business could not be tolerated. Petitioner argues that although his reason for disconnecting the steering line cable was personal yet it was highly commendable since he was concerned with family unity. In addition, the disconnection was done to protect the vessel from pranksters who in the past would play with the steering wheel. By terminating his services respondent corporation thus set to naught his twentyseven (27) years of service, completely ignoring the fact that it was his first offense.

SC sustain the NLRC in holding that petitioner was guilty of serious misconduct and willful disobedience

. . . Granted that his act was without malice or willful intent to cause damage, this does not excuse him for putting his personal interests over that of his employers in the sense that he . . . unnecessarily disrupt(ed) and prejudice(d) the normal operations of respondent to attend to personal matters. No amount of good faith or lack of intention to cause damage can diminish the degree of responsibility of complainant for his actuations . . . By disconnecting the steering line cable before disembarking, petitioner must have deluded himself into believing that he was the master in command of the vessel and that during his absence the vessel should be immobile. His lack of concern for his employer's interests or for his responsibility towards his employer was plainly exhibited by these additional circumstances noted by the NLRC

. . . We are aware of the inconvenience and discomfort caused to passengers by delays. In the case at bar, it is bad enough that the vessel had to return to port; but to further delay the voyage because complainant wants to talk to his wife is pathetic. Complainant was important to the vessel's complement. Considerations of first offense and length of service are overshadowed by the seriousness of the offense. As to whether an offense is minor or serious will have to be determined according to the peculiar facts of each case. And to a shipping company engaged in the transportation of passengers and cargoes any delay of its vessels may greatly affect its business and reputation and expose the company to unmitigated lawsuits for breach of contract and damages. The offenses cannot be excused upon a plea of their being "first offenses," or have not resulted in prejudice to the company in any way. [That] no employer may rationally be expected to continue in employment a person whose lack of morals, respect and loyalty to his employer, regard for his employer's rules, and appreciation of the dignity and responsibility of his office, has so plainly and completely been bared. Along the same vein the Court ruled in Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Inc. v. Ople, which also involved serious violation of company rules and regulations by the employee

Issue: (1) Whether petitioner's act of disconnecting the steering line cable and disembarking from the vessel without permission constitute serious misconduct and willful disobedience justifying his dismissal. YES

. . . Where the totality of the evidence was sufficient to warrant the dismissal of the employees the law warrants their dismissal without making any distinction between a first offender and a habitual delinquent. Under the law, respondent Minister is duly mandated to equally protect and respect not only the labor or workers' side but also the management and/or employers' side.

ISSUES 1. WON petitioners were validly dismissed (with just cause and were afforded due process) 2. WON petitioners should be relieved of any liability considering that respondent bank did not suffer a pecuniary loss

CADIZ V CA (PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL BANK [EQUITABLE PCIBANK]) 474 SCRA 232 TINGA; October 25, 2005

HELD 1. YES

NATURE Certiorari

- Petitioners had surreptitiously diverted funds deposited by depositors to S/A No. 1083-4 which was under their control and disposition. - Their behavior in the course of the discharge of their duties is clearly malfeasant, and constitutes ground for their termination on account of just cause. - respondent bank complied with the two-notice rule prescribed in Article 277(b) of the Labor Code. Petitioners were given all avenues to present their side and disprove the allegations of respondent bank. An informal meeting was held between the branch manager of MOB, the three petitioners and Mr. Gener, the Vice-President of the PCIB Employees Union. 2. NO - In University of the East v. NLRC the court held that lack of material or pecuniary damages would not in any way mitigate a persons liability nor obliterate the loss of trust and confidence. - In the case of Etcuban v. Sulpicio Lines, this Court definitively ruled that: . . . Whether or not the respondent bank was financially prejudiced is immaterial. Also, what matters is not the amount involved, be it paltry or gargantuan; rather the fraudulent scheme in which the petitioner was involved, which constitutes a clear betrayal of trust and confidence. . . .

FACTS - Cadiz, Bongkingki and Gloria were employed as signature verifier, bookkeeper, and foreign currency denomination clerk/bookkeeper-reliever, respectively, in the main office branch (MOB) of Philippine Commercial International Bank (respondent bank). - Cadiz reserved S/A No. 1083-4 in July 1987 as reflected on respondent banks new account register. - Foreign denominated checks payable to other payees were diverted into the said account. - The various deposit slips, covering the said checks, did not bear the machine validation of any of the tellers-in-charge. - Petitioner Cadiz agreed to pay Alqueza the equivalent amount of $600.00 but it was made to appear that Alfiscar paid the said amount. - In view of these findings, petitioners were served with show-cause memoranda asking them to explain the lapses. - Finding their explanations unsatisfactory, petitioners were terminated from employment. LA-adjudged that petitioners were illegally dismissed and ordered their reinstatement and payment of backwages. - NLRC-reversed - CA-affirmed reversal by NLRC

[G.R. No. 99047. April 16, 2001.] OMAR O. SEVILLANA, petitioner, vs. I.T. (INTERNATIONAL) CORP./SAMIR MADDAH & TRAVELLERS INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT and NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (Second Division), respondents.

FACTS Petitioner Omar Sevillana was contracted to work as a driver by private respondent I.T. Corporation for its foreign accredited principal, Samir Maddah, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The agreed monthly salary was US $370.00 for a period of two (2) years. Petitioner alleged, however, that when he received his salaries from his employer, he was only paid US $100.00 a month for twelve (12) months, instead of the agreed US $370.00 per month. On November 2, 1988, after working twelve (12) months with his employer, petitioner said that he was repatriated without any valid and justifiable reason. Petitioner shouldered the cost of his return airfare in the amount of US $630.00. Petitioner filed a complaint with the POEA, for underpayment of salaries, illegal dismissal, reimbursement of return airfare, moral damages and attorney's fees against I .T . Corporation, Samir Maddah and Travellers Insurance and Surety Corporation. Private respondent I .T . denied the material allegations of the petitioner but admitted that the petitioner was one of several workers it deployed and employed abroad. I .T . argued that the petitioner continuously worked with Samir for more than one (1) year until his blood pressure was considered critical. Thus, Samir was forced to closely monitor the health condition of the petitioner. When petitioner's blood pressure did not stabilize and begun affecting his work as driver due to frequent headaches and dizziness, I .T . alleged that Samir decided to repatriate the petitioner to avoid further injury and complication to his health. I .T . claimed that after the petitioner had received all the benefits accorded to an employee consisting of full salaries and separation pay, the petitioner refused to be repatriated and instead decided to run away. Since then, the whereabouts of the petitioner were unknown and I .T . only heard about the petitioner when the latter reported to their office in the Philippines and later on filed the subject complaint before the POEA Adjudication Office. POEA Adjudication Office rendered a decision holding the private respondents herein jointly and severally liable to the petitioner. Only private respondent I .T . appealed the aforesaid decision of the POEA Adjudication Office to the NLRC Second Division which in turn reversed and set aside the findings and ruling of the former ISSUE W/N THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE COMPLAINANT-PETITIONER WAS NOT ILLEGALLY DISMISSED.

HELD We rule for the petitioner. When the NLRC declared that the burden of proof in dismissal cases shifts to the employer only when the latter admits such dismissal, the NLRC ruled erroneously in disregard of the law and prevailing jurisprudence on the matter. "Article 277(b) of the Labor Code puts the burden of proving that the dismissal of an employee was for a valid or authorized cause on the employer. It should be noted that the said provision of law does not distinguish whether the employer admits or does not admit the dismissal. It is clear that petitioner was illegally dismissed by private respondent Samir Maddah." Time and again we have ruled that where there is no showing of a clear, valid and legal cause for termination of employment, the law considers the case a matter of illegal dismissal. The burden is on the employer to prove that the termination of employment was for a valid and legal cause. For an employee's dismissal to be valid, (a) the dismissal must be for a valid cause and (b) the employee must be afforded due process. A review of the record shows that neither of the two (2) conditions precedent were shown to have been complied with by the private respondents. All that private respondent I .T . did was to rely on its claim that petitioner was repatriated by its foreign principal, respondent Samir Maddah, due to hypertension with nary an evidence to support it. In all termination cases, strict compliance by the employer with the demands of both procedural and substantive due process is a condition sine qua non for the same to be declared valid. Under Section 8, Rule I, Book VI of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code, for a disease to be a valid ground for the dismissal of the employee, the continued employment of such employee is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or the health of his co-employees, there must be a certification by a competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six (6) months, even with proper medical treatment. The defense of complainant's medical problems (alleged hypertension of complainant) interposed by respondents to justify the dismissal of the former is totally bereft of merit. The said defense of respondents is not only uncorroborated by documentary evidence but is also not a just or valid cause for termination of one's employment. While an employer (respondents in this case) may validly terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease, it is

authorized only if his continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees (Art. 284, Labor Code). This is not present in the instant case, for there is no finding from a medical practitioner certifying that complainant is really hypertensive." Since the burden of proving the validity of the dismissal of the employee rests on the employer, the latter should likewise bear the burden of showing that the requisites for a valid dismissal due to a disease have been complied with. In the absence of the required certification by a competent public health authority, this Court has ruled against the validity of the employee's dismissal. It is therefore incumbent upon the private respondents to prove by the quantum of evidence required by law that petitioner was not dismissed, or if dismissed, that the dismissal was not illegal; otherwise, the dismissal would be unjustified. This Court will not sanction a dismissal premised on mere conjectures and suspicions, the evidence must be substantial and not arbitrary and must be founded on clearly established facts sufficient to warrant his separation from work. We find no cogent reason to depart from the conclusion reached by the POEA Adjudication Office in the case at bar. San Miguel Jeepney v. NLRC FACTS: The 23 complainants were formerly working (as drivers, dispatchers and mechanic) with petitioner San Miguel Jeepney Service (SMJS), with services ranging from two to eight years. Petitioner SMJS had a contract with the U.S. Naval Base Facility located in San Miguel, San Antonio, Zambales, to provide transportation services to personnel and dependents inside said facility. When the said contract expired on 02 May 1988, petitioner Galace, owner and general manager of SMJS, opted not to renew the existing contract nor bid on the new contract, due to financial difficulties, he having suffered a net loss the prior year. As a consequence, the services of the complainants were terminated. By that time, however, the 23 had already filed a complaint for non-compliance with the th minimum wage law from 1980 onwards, plus non-payment of the 13 month pay, legal holiday pay, overtime pay, service incentive leave pay and separation pay. In their position paper, complainants claimed that they were drivers (except for Edna Farin and Brainly Aglibot who worked as dispatchers, and Abner Martinez who was a mechanic-dispatcher) and all of them were receiving their pay based on commission basis, which was below the statutory minimum wage. They further alleged, among others, that their work entitled them to overtime pay, legal holiday pay and severance pay, which were not paid to them. Petitioners on the other hand rejected any liability for the money claims. In refutation of the complainants claims, they submitted a position paper stating: 1. Legal Holiday Pay -- Complainants are not entitled. (a) the casual dispatchers have no fix (sic) day of work, they merely act as substituted (sic); and (b) the driverscomplainants, who are purely on commission basis are not entitled to legal holiday pay (Rule IV, Holiday Pay, Sec. 1 (e), Implementing Rules of the Labor Code).

2. 13 month pay: Not applicable to complainants who are purely on commission basis (Sec. 3 (e), Rules and Regulations Implementing P.D. 851) Complainants casual-dispatchers th are not allowed 13 month pay because they are not (paid on) monthly basis. 3. Underpayment of Minimum Wage: Complainants-drivers are not wage earners. They are not paid on the basis of their work-hours rendered but on the percentages of their collections representing fares from their passengers. They control their own collections. There is no basis of minimum wage in relation to their commissions taken by them. The complainants-casual dispatchers are well over their minimum wage. 4. Overtime pay. -- Complainants cannot claim overtime pay. They control their own time. The amount of their percentages depend on how industrious they are in looking for paying passengers. Hence, complainants control their pay, not the respondents. So, why give overtime pay to one who is really working on such a (sic) time? 5. Separation pay. -- All the complainants stopped working when(ever) they pleased. At least respondent Mamerto Galace has given all the complainants notice on July 17, 1988 (should be 1987) that his contract will terminate on February 3, 1988 and after this date, complainants went on strike. How could they be entitled to separation pay when they wilfully stopped working without the fault of the respondents(?) 6. Service Incentive pay: -- This is not applicable to the complainants who are purely on commission basis (Rule V, Sec. 1 (d), Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code). The arbiter ruled that insofar as the claims for holiday pay, 13 month pay and service incentive pay were concerned, under the Rules Implementing PD 851, the complainants were not entitled to such benefits, being workers on a purely commission basis. With respect to the alleged underpayment of minimum wage, the arbiter held that since the complainants-drivers control(led) their own collections and time, xxx there could be no basis to determine minimum wage in relation to their commissions xxx. Moreover, a perusal of the Complaint xxx shows a clear admission of payment of the latter on commission basis at the rate of 14.4% of their collections. xxx (T)he failure of the complainants-drivers to state in their Complaint and pleadings the amount of their alleged underpayment only reflects that complainants themselves were unsure if they were underpaid or not. Hence this Arbiter finds no basis to grant the same. It seems that the arbiter also went on to hold implicitly that the drivers were not regular employees of SMJS. He stated: (Insofar) as the cases of Edna Farin and Brainly Aglibot and Abner Martinez are concerned, we rule that they are entitled to the difference of the underpayment of their wages as their jobs are different from that of complainants-drivers, but regular employees of respondents, in accordance with Article(s) 280 and 281 of the Labor Code as
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amended. These three (3) employees having been found to have been dismissed without due process of law are entitled to separation pay equivalent to one-half (1/2) month for every year of service. He likewise held that the non-renewal of the contract with the US Naval Base is a closure or cessation of operations NOT due to serious business losses under Art. 283 of the Labor Code, and that being the case, the drivers became entitled to one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service. All other claims, such as for overtime pay and the like, were dismissed for lack of both legal basis and evidence to support the same. However, the arbiter ordered payment of P1,000.00 to each of the complainantsdrivers by way of financial assistance, considering their length of service. On appeal, the respondent Commission modified the arbiters ruling, holding that all the complainants are regular employees in the contemplation of Article 281 (now Art. 280) of the Labor Code, which provides that employment shall be deemed regular when the employee performs activities which are usually necessary and desirable in the usual business or trade ; respondent Commission thus ruled that the complainants are entitled to separation pay of one-half month for every year of service, by virtue of the non-renewal of the transportation contract with the naval base. Dissatisfied, petitioners brought this petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court on April 19, 1990. ISSUE: W/N the respondent NLRC acted in grave abuse of its discretion in awarding separation pay in favor of respondents, such award not being warranted by the facts and the law. HELD: Apparently, San Miguel did not renew its contract because of sliding incomes and not because of serious business losses, thus, it cannot justify the non-payment of separation pay. As San Miguel admitted, what they suffered were sliding incomes in other words, decreasing revenues. What the law speaks of is serious business losses or financial reverses. Clearly, sliding incomes are not necessarily losses, much less serious business losses within the meaning of the law. In this case there was no question about the existence of employer-employee relationship between petitioners and private respondents. Art. 280 therefore can be properly applied to the present case, to confirm the regular-employee status of the private respondents. Prescinding from the foregoing, as such regular employees, private respondents are entitled to security of tenure and their services may be terminated only for causes provided by law. Likewise, they are also to be accorded the benefits provided under the Labor Code, including inter alia separation pay for loss of employment resulting from retrenchment to prevent losses or closure/cessation.

[G.R. No. 106256. December 28, 1994.] MAYA FARMS EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION, MAYA REALTY AND LIVESTOCK SUPERVISORY UNION, MAYA FARMS EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION, and MAYA FARMS, INC. SUPERVISORY UNION, petitioners, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, MAYA REALTY & LIVESTOCK, INC., MAYA FARMS, INC., and LIBERTY FLOUR MILLS, INC., respondents. FACTS: KAPUNAN, J p: 1. Private respondents Maya Farms, Inc. and Maya Realty and Livestock Corporation belong to the Liberty Mills group of companies whose undertakings include the operation of a meat processing plant which produces ham, bacon, cold cuts, sausages and other meat and poultry products. 2. Petitioners, on the other hand, are the exclusive bargaining agents of the employees of Maya Farms, Inc. and the Maya Realty and Livestock Corporation. 3. Private respondents announced the adoption of an early retirement program as a costcutting measure considering that their business operations suffered major setbacks over the years. 4. The program was voluntary and could be availed of only by employees with at least eight (8) years of service. 5. Dialogues were thereafter conducted to give the parties an opportunity to discuss the details of the program. 6. Accordingly, the program was amended to reduce the minimum requirement of eight (8) years of service to only five (5) years.\ 7. However, the response to the program was nil. There were only a few takers. 8. To avert further losses, private respondents were constrained to look into the companies' organizational set-up in order to streamline operations. Consequently, the early retirement program was converted into a special redundancy program intended to reduce the work force to an optimum number so as to make operations more viable. 9. 69 employees from the two companies availed of the special redundancy program. 10. The two companies sent letters to sixty-six (66) employees informing them that their respective positions had been declared redundant. 11. The notices likewise stated that their services would be terminated effective thirty (30) days from receipt thereof. 12. Separation benefits, including the conversion of all earned leave credits and other benefits due under existing CBAs were thereafter paid to those affected.

13. A notice of strike was filed by the petitioners which accused private respondents, among others, of unfair labor practice, violation of CBA and discrimination. Conciliation proceedings were held by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) but the parties failed to arrive at a settlement. 14. Petitioners averred that in the dismissal of sixty-six (66) union officers and members on the ground of redundancy, private respondents circumvented the provisions in their CBA, more particularly, Section 2, Article III thereof. Said provision reads: Sec. 2. LIFO RULE. In all cases of lay-off or retrenchment resulting in termination of employment in the line of work, the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) Rule must always be strictly observed. 15. Petitioners also alleged that the companies' claim that they were in economic crisis was fabricated because in 1990, a net income of over 83 million pesos was realized by Liberty Flour Mills Group of Companies. 16. Furthermore, with the termination of the sixty-six (66) employees pursuant to the special redundancy program, the remaining work force, especially the drivers, became overworked and overburdened so much so that they found themselves doing overtime work and reporting for duty even during rest days. 17. Invoking the workers' constitutional right to security of tenure, petitioners prayed for the reinstatement of the sixty-six (66) employees and the payment of attorney's fees as they were constrained to hire the services of counsel in order to protect the workers' rights. 18. Private respondents contend that their decision to implement a special redundancy program was an exercise of management prerogative which could not be interfered with unless it is shown to be tainted with bad faith and ill motive. 19. Public respondent rendered a decision confirming the legality of the separation of the 66 employees of management thereby dismissing the charges of violation of CBA and unfair labor practice on the part of management. 20. Not satisfied with the above-quoted decision, petitioners interposed the instant petition. ISSUE: Whether (a) the termination of the sixty-six (66) employees was in accordance with Article 283 of the Labor Code; (b) the termination of the sixty-six (66) employees was in accordance with the LIFO rule in the CBA; and (c) the payment or offer of payment can substitute for the 30-day required notice prior to termination. 5 HELD: (a) YES. The termination of the sixty-six employees was done in accordance with Article 283 of the Labor Code. The basis for this was the companies' study to streamline operations so as to make them

more viable. Positions which overlapped each other, or which are in excess of the requirements of the service, were declared redundant. Article 283 provides: Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devises, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing in the provisions of this title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Department of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the one (1) month pay or at least one-half () pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year. We fully agree with the findings and conclusions of the public respondent on the issue of termination. A close examination of the positions retained by management show that said positions such as egg sorter, debonner were but the minimal positions required to sustain the limited functions/operations of the meat processing department. In the absence of any evidence to prove bad faith on the part of management in arriving at such decision, which records on hand failed to show in instant case, the rationality of the act of management in this regard must be sustained. While it may be true that the Liberty Flour Mills Group of Companies as a whole posted a net income of P83.3 Million, it is admitted that with respect to operations of the meat processing and livestock which were undertaken by herein companies sustained losses in the sum of P2,257,649.88 (Exh. '3'). This is the reason, as advanced by management, for its decision to streamline positions resulting in the reduction of manpower compliment (sic). 9

(b) YES. The NLRC correctly held that private respondents did not violate the LIFO rule under Section 2, Article III of the CBA which provides: It is not disputed that the LIFO rule applies to termination of employment in the line of work. 12 Verily, what is contemplated in the LIFO rule is that when there are two or more employees occupying the same position in the company affected by the retrenchment program, the last one employed will necessarily be the first to go.

In the case under consideration, specifically with respect to Maya Farms, several positions were affected by the special involuntary redundancy program. These are packers, egg sorters/stockers, drivers. In the case of packers, prior to the involuntary redundancy program, twenty-one employees occupied the position of packers. Out of this number, only 5 were retained. In this group of employees, the earliest date of employment was October 27, 1969, and the latest packer was employed in 1989. The most senior employees occupying the position of packers who were retained are as follows: Santos, Laura C. (Oct. 27, 1969), Estrada, Mercedes(Aug. 20, 1970), Hortaleza, Lita (June 11, 1971), Jimenez, Lolita(April 25, 1972), Aquino, Teresita (June 25, 1975). All the other packers employed after June 2, 1975 (sic) were separated from the service. The same is true with respect to egg sorters. The egg sorters employed on or before April 26, 1972 were retained. All those employed after said date were separated. With respect to the position of drivers, there were eight drivers prior to the involuntary redundancy program. Thereafter only 3 positions were retained. Accordingly, the three drivers who were most senior in terms of period of employment, were retained. The case of Roberta Cabrera and Lydia C. Bandong, Asst. Superintendent for packing and Asst. Superintendent for meat processing respectively was presented by the union as an instance where the LIFO rule was not observed by management. The union pointed out that Lydia Bandong who was retained by management was employed on a much later date than Roberta Cabrera, and both are Assistant Superintendent. We cannot sustain the union's argument. It is indeed true that Roberta Cabrera was employed earlier (January 28, 1961) and (sic) Lydia Bandong (July 9, 1966). However, it is maintained that in meat processing department there were 3 Asst. Superintendents assigned as head of the 3 sections thereat. The reason advanced by the company in retaining Bandong was that as Asst. Superintendent for meat processing she could 'already take care of the operations of the other sections.' The nature of work of each assistant superintendent as well as experience were taken into account by management. Such criteria was not shown to be whimsical nor carpricious (sic) 13 (Emphasis supplied). (c) Finally, contrary to petitioners' contention, there is nothing on record to show that the 30-day notice of termination to the workers was disregarded and that the same substituted with separation pay by private respondents. As found by public respondent, written notices of separation were sent to the employees on January 17, 1992. The notices expressly stated that the termination of employment was to take effect one month from receipt thereof. Therefore, the allegation that separation pay was given in lieu of the 30-day notice required by law is baseless.

LBC EXPRESS - METRO MANILA, INC. and LORENZO A. NIO vs. JAMES MATEO

Facts: 1. Respondent James Mateo, designated as a customer associate, was a regular employee of petitioner LBC. His job was to deliver and pick-up packages to and from LBC and its customers. For this purpose, Mateo was assigned the use of a Kawasaki motorcycle. On April 30, 2001 at about 6:10 p.m: a. Mateo arrived at LBCs Escolta office, along Burke Street, to drop off packages coming from various LBC airposts. He parked his motorcycle directly in front of the LBC office, switched off the engine and took the key with him. b. However, he did not lock the steering wheel because he allegedly was primarily concerned with the packages, including a huge sum of money that needed to be immediately secured inside the LBC office. He returned promptly within three to five minutes but the motorcycle was gone. c. He immediately reported the loss to his superiors at LBC and to the nearest police station.

2.

3.

4. 5. 6. 7.

LBC, through its vice-president petitioner, Lorenzo A. Nio, directed Mateo to appear in his office to explain his side and for formal investigation. As directed, Mateo appeared and presented his side. After investigation, he received a notice of termination. He was barred from reporting for work. Mateo thereafter filed a complaint for illegal dismissal,etc. LA found Mateos dismissal to be lawful on the ground that he was grossly negligent. Mateo appealed to the NLRC which, however, affirmed the labor arbiters decision. CA ruled that Mateo was illegally dismissed. Furthermore, due process was not observed in terminating Mateos employment with LBC. The motion for reconsideration was denied.

Issue: WON Mateo was validly dismissed

Ruling: YES

The services of a regular employee may be terminated only for just or authorized causes, including gross and habitual negligence under Article 282, paragraph (b) of the Labor Code. [G.R. No. 169549. September 3, 2008.] JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION and/or MICHAEL PLAXTON, petitioners, vs. JOANNA CANTRE DAVIS, respondent. CORONA, J p: FACTS: Mateo was undisputedly negligent when he left the motorcycle along Burke Street in Escolta, Manila without locking it despite clear, specific instructions to do so. His argument that he stayed inside the LBC office for only three to five minutes was of no moment. On the contrary, it only proved that he did not exercise even the slightest degree of care during that very short time. Mateo deliberately did not heed the employers very important precautionary measure to ensure the safety of company property. Regardless of the reasons advanced, the exact evil sought to be prevented by LBC (in repeatedly directing its customer associates to lock their motorcycles) occurred, resulting in a substantial loss to LBC. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Although Mateos infraction was not habitual, we must take into account the substantial amount lost. In this case, LBC lost a motorcycle with a book value of P46,000 which by any means could not be considered a trivial amount. Mateo was entrusted with a great responsibility to take care of and protect company property and his gross negligence should not allow him to walk away from that incident as if nothing happened and, worse, to be rewarded with backwages to boot. 7. 8. 9. 10. An employer cannot legally be compelled to continue with the employment of a person admittedly guilty of gross negligence in the performance of his duties. This holds true specially if the employees continued tenure is patently inimical to the employers interest. W hat happened was not a simple case of oversight and could not be attributed to a simple lapse of judgment. No amount of good intent, or previous conscientious performance of duty, can assuage the damage Mateo caused LBC when he failed to exercise the requisite degree of diligence required of him under the circumstances. Respondent Joanna Cantre Davis was agency administration officer of petitioner John Hancock Life Insurance Corporation. Patricia Yuseco, petitioner's corporate affairs manager, discovered that her wallet was missing. She immediately reported the loss of her credit cards to AIG and BPI Express. To her surprise, she was informed that "Patricia Yuseco" had just made substantial purchases using her credit cards in various stores in the City of Manila. She was also told that a proposed transaction in Abenson's-Robinsons Place was disapproved because "she" gave the wrong information upon verification. Because loss of personal property among its employees had become rampant in its office, petitioner sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). The NBI, in the course of its investigation, obtained a security video from Abenson's showing the person who used Yuseco's credit cards. Yuseco and other witnesses positively identified the person in the video as respondent. Consequently, the NBI and Yuseco filed a complaint for qualified theft against respondent in the office of the Manila city prosecutor. But because the affidavits presented by the NBI (identifying respondent as the culprit) were not properly verified, the city prosecutor dismissed the complaint due to insufficiency of evidence. Meanwhile, petitioner placed respondent under preventive suspension and instructed her to cooperate with its ongoing investigation. Instead of doing so, however, respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal alleging that petitioner terminated her employment without cause. The labor arbiter found that respondent committed serious misconduct (she was the principal suspect for qualified theft committed inside petitioner's office during work hours). There was a valid cause for her dismissal. Thus, the complaint was dismissed for lack of merit.

Gross negligence is characterized by want of even slight care, acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to consequences insofar as other persons may be affected.

11. 12. 13.

14. NLRC which affirmed the assailed decision. MR was likewise denied. 15. CA found that the labor arbiter and NLRC merely adopted the findings of the NBI regarding respondent's culpability. Because the affidavits of the witnesses were not verified, they did not constitute substantial evidence. The labor arbiter and NLRC should have assessed evidence independently as "unsubstantiated suspicions, accusations and conclusions of employers (did) not provide legal justification for dismissing an employee". Thus, the CA granted the petition. 16. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner substantially proved the presence of valid cause for respondent's termination. HELD: YES. Article 282 of the Labor Code provides: Article 282. Termination by Employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes: (a) Serious misconduct or willful disobendience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or his representatives in connection with his work; xxx (e) xxx xxx

of its employees, 12 respondent's misconduct was not work-related and therefore, she could not be dismissed for serious misconduct. Nonetheless, Article 282 (e) of the Labor Code talks of other analogous causes or those which are susceptible of comparison to another in general or in specific detail. 13 For an employee to be validly dismissed for a cause analogous to those enumerated in Article 282, the cause must involve a voluntary and/or willful act or omission of the employee. 14 A cause analogous to serious misconduct is a voluntary and/or willful act or omission attesting to an employee's moral depravity. 15 Theft committed by an employee against a person other than his employer, if proven by substantial evidence, is a cause analogous to serious misconduct. 16 Did petitioner substantially prove the existence of valid cause for respondent's separation? Yes. The labor arbiter and the NLRC relied not only on the affidavits of the NBI's witnesses but also on that of respondent. They likewise considered petitioner's own investigative findings. Clearly, they did not merely adopt the findings of the NBI but independently assessed evidence presented by the parties. Their conclusion (that there was valid cause for respondent's separation from employment) was therefore supported by substantial evidence. All things considered, petitioner validly dismissed respondent for cause analogous to serious misconduct. [G.R. Nos. 155056-57. October 19, 2007.] THE HEIRS OF THE LATE PANFILO V. PAJARILLO, petitioners, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA NG PANFILO V. PAJARILLO, ALFREDO HOYOHOY, HERMINIO CASTILLO, BERNARDO ROCO, RODOLFO TORRES, JULIAN JORVINA, LOURDES ROCO, FLORITA YAPOC, MARLON ALDANA, PARALUMAN ULANG, TOLENTINO SANHI, JOHNNY SORIANO, ANDRES CALAQUE, ROBERTO LAVAREZ, FRANCISCO MORALES, SALVACION PERINA, ANTONIO ABALA, ROMEO SALONGA, AUGUR M. MANIPOL, BIENVENIDA TEQUIL, MARIO ELEP, ALADINO LATIGO, BERNARDINE BANSAL, PEDRO DE BAGUIO, RICARDO CALICA, LAURA CO, VICENTE RECANA, ELENA TOLLEDO, ALFREDO PLAZA, SR., HERMINIO BALDONO, FELIPE YAPOC, ARISTON NIPA, and ALFONSO C. BALDOMAR, respondents. FACTS

Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Misconduct involves "the transgression of some established and definite rule of action, forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character, and implies wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment". 10 For misconduct to be serious and therefore a valid ground for dismissal, it must be: 1. 2. of grave and aggravated character and not merely trivial or unimportant and EcTaSC connected with the work of the employee. 11

In this case, petitioner dismissed respondent based on the NBI's finding that the latter stole and used Yuseco's credit cards. But since the theft was not committed against petitioner itself but against one

Panfilo V. Pajarillo (Panfilo) was the owner and operator of several buses plying certain routes in Metro Manila. He used the name "PVP Liner" in his buses. Private respondents were employed as drivers, conductors and conductresses by Panfilo. Private respondents worked at least four times a week or for an average of fifteen working days per month. They were required to observe a work schedule starting from 4:00 in the morning up to 10:00 in the evening on a straight time basis. Private respondent drivers were paid a daily commission of 10%, while private respondent conductors and conductresses received a daily commission of 7%. In sum, each of the private respondents earned an average daily commission of about P150.00 a day. They were not given emergency cost of living allowance (ECOLA), 13th month pay, legal holiday pay and service incentive leave pay. 5 The following were deducted from the private respondents' daily commissions: (a) costs of washing the assigned buses; (b) terminal fees; (c) fees for sweeping the assigned buses; (d) fees paid to the barangay tanod at bus terminals; and (e) rental fees for the use of stereo in the assigned buses. Any employee who refused such deductions were either barred from working or dismissed from work. 6 Private respondents and several co-employees formed a union called "SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA NG PANFILO V. PAJARILLO". Upon learning of the formation of respondent union, Panfilo and his children ordered some of the private respondents to sign a document affirming their trust and confidence in Panfilo and denying any irregularities on his part. Other private respondents were directed to sign a blank document which turned out to be a resignation letter. Private respondents refused to sign the said documents, hence, they were barred from working or were dismissed without hearing and notice. Panfilo and his children and relatives also formed a company union where they acted as its directors and officers. Respondent union and several employees filed a Complaint for unfair labor practice and illegal deduction before the Labor Arbiter with "Panfilo V. Pajarillo Liner" as party-respondent. The respondent union filed an Amended Complaint alleging this time not only unfair labor practice and illegal deduction but also illegal dismissal. Respondent union and several employees filed another Complaint for violation of labor standard laws claiming non-payment of (1) ECOLA, (2) 13th month pay, (3) overtime pay, (4) legal holiday pay, (5) premium pay, and (6) service incentive leave. Panfilo denied the charges in the complaints. He maintained that private respondents were not dismissed from work on account of their union activities; that private respondents and several of their co-employees either resigned or were separated from work, or simply abandoned their employment

long before the respondent union was organized and registered with the DOLE; that the private respondents are not entitled to ECOLA and 13th month pay because they received wages above the minimum provided by law; that the private respondents are not entitled to overtime and legal holiday pay because these are already included in their daily commissions; that the private respondents are not entitled to five days incentive leave pay because they work only four days a week; that no deductions were made in the daily commissions of the private respondents; that the private respondents voluntarily and directly paid certain individuals for barangay protection and for the cleaning of the assigned buses; that he had no participation in these activities/arrangements; that the private respondents were not dismissed from work; and that the private respondents either abandoned their jobs or voluntarily resigned from work. On 29 January 1991, Panfilo died. Labor Arbiter Manuel P. Asuncion rendered a Decision dismissing the consolidated complaints for lack of merit. Respondent union appealed to the NLRC which reversed the decision of Arbiter Asuncion and ordered the reinstatement of, and payment of backwages, ECOLA, 13th month pay, legal holiday pay and service incentive leave pay to, private respondents. Respondent union filed a motion for reconsideration but this was denied by the NLRC Court of Appeals rendered a Decision granting the respondent union's petition and nullifying the Orders of the NLRC. Panfilo's counsel filed a motion for reconsideration but this was denied by the appellate court. ISSUE W/N petitioners is correct that no unfair labor practice was committed, and that private respondents were not illegally dismissed from work. HELD NLRC made an exhaustive discussion of the allegations and evidence of both parties as regards unfair labor practice and illegal dismissal. It concluded that private respondents, officers and members of respondent union were dismissed by reason of their union activities and that there was no compliance with substantial and procedural due process in terminating their services. It also held that the private respondents who were not members of the respondent union were also dismissed without just or valid

cause, and that they were denied due process. These factual findings and conclusions were supported by substantial evidence comprised of affidavits, sworn statements, testimonies of witnesses during hearings before Arbiter Asuncion, and other documentary evidence. These findings were sustained by the Court of Appeals. The rule is that findings of fact of quasi-judicial agencies like the NLRC are accorded by this Court not only respect but even finality if they are supported by substantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. We find no compelling reason to deviate from such findings of the NLRC as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Consequently, the private respondents are entitled to reinstatement, backwages and other privileges and benefits under Article 279 of the Labor Code. Separation pay may be given in lieu of reinstatement if the employee concerned occupies a position of trust and confidence. The private respondents, as former bus drivers, conductors and conductresses of petitioners, do not hold the position of trust and confidence. Nonetheless, it appears from the records that some of the private respondents, had executed a Quitclaim/Release discharging petitioners " from any and all claims by way of unpaid wages, separation pay, overtime pay, differential pay, ECOLA, 13th month pay, holiday pay, service incentive leave pay or otherwise." Generally, deeds of release, waivers, or quitclaims cannot bar employees from demanding benefits to which they are legally entitled or from contesting the legality of their dismissal, since quitclaims are looked upon with disfavor and are frowned upon as contrary to public policy. Where, however, the person making the waiver has done so voluntarily, with a full understanding thereof, and the consideration for the quitclaim is credible and reasonable, the transaction must be recognized as being a valid and binding undertaking. There is no showing that the executions of these quitclaims were tainted with deceit or coercion. On the contrary, each of the private respondents' Sinumpaang Salaysay, which accompanied the quitclaims, evinces voluntariness and full understanding of the execution and consequence of the quitclaim. In their said Sinumpaang Salaysay, the private respondents stated that their lawyer had extensively explained to them the computation and the actual amount of consideration they would receive; that they were not forced or tricked by their lawyer in accepting the same; and that they already received the amount of consideration.

Further, the considerations received by the private respondents were credible and reasonable because they were not grossly disproportionate to the computation by the NLRC of the amount of backwages and other money claims. The quitclaims should be considered as binding on the private respondents who executed them. It is settled that a legitimate waiver which represents a voluntary and reasonable settlement of a worker's claim should be respected as the law between the parties. Accordingly, the private respondents who made such quitclaims are already precluded from claiming reinstatement, backwages, ECOLA, 13TH month pay, legal holiday pay, service incentive leave pay, and other monetary claims. With regard to the other private respondents who did not execute such quitclaims, they are entitled to reinstatement, backwages, ECOLA, 13TH month pay, legal holiday pay and service incentive leave pay in accordance with the computation of the NLRC. CITIBANK NA V GATCHALIAN 240 SCRA 212 PUNO; January 18, 1995

FACTS - Petitioner bank received thirty-one (31) applications from alleged APBCI employees for the issuance of Citibank credit cards, popularly known as Mastercard. - A Citibank employee verified by phone the data which appeared on the application forms. It was Florence Verendia, as secretary of the APBCI General Manager, who answered the check calls. The applications were then approved and the corresponding new and unsigned credit cards were issued. Petitioner bank's policy is for new and unsigned credit cards to be released only to the cardholders concerned or their duly authorized representatives. However, a Citibank employee may himself take delivery of new and unsigned credit cards after accomplishing a Card Pull-Out Request Form wherein the employee assumes the responsibility of delivering the same to the cardholder concerned. - Supnad (an employee of bank) and Verendia, conspired together to get the fictitious cards. They got seven cards from bank employee Llonillo. As a result, the two (Supnad and Verendia) used the cards in commercial establishments causing injury to the bank in the amount of 200k.

- the Bank found out about this and conducted an investigation - Investigation resulted in the decision to terminate Llonilla and to file charges against Verendia and Supnad -the labor arbiter ruled that Llonilla be reinstated based on evidence that what Llonilla did was not gross negligence

slightest reason to distrust Kun because he was the GM and appears to have conducted himself well in the performance of his duties in the past. At most, its error of judgment, not gross negligence. Disposition NLRC decision affirmed. CALTEX VS NLRC, 356 SCRA 175 [2007] FACTS: Romeo T. Sto. Tomas (private respondent) was a regular employee of petitioner since February 2, 1984. He was a Senior Account Analyst at the time of his termination on July 31, 1997.

ISSUE WON Llonillas negligence was gross

1.

HELD YES - Gross negligence implies a want or absence of or failure to exercise slight care or diligence, or the entire absence of care. It evinces a thoughtless disregard of consequences without exerting any effort to avoid them. The evidence on record succinctly established the gross negligence of respondent Llonillo. She admitted that the first time she was asked by Verendia to pick up one of the newly approved and unused credit cards, she immediately acceded. Yet at that time, she had not personally met nor previously seen Verendia. When asked how she came to know to whom she would give the card, respondent Llonillo responded that Verendia described herself over the phone and that was how she was able to identify Verendia when she first met her. Thus, on the basis of a mere description over the telephone, respondent Llonillo delivered the credit cards to Verendia. - Furthermore, not only is her negligence gross, it was also habitual it being found out that she picked up the newly approved credit cards on five (5) separate occasions and delivered the same to Verendia and the latter's messenger. Certainly, these repetitive acts and omissions bespeak of habituality. - Company says shes grossly or habitually negligent in the performance of her duties. The SC said that since she has not been remiss in the performance of her duties in the past, she cant be charged with habitual negligence. Neither is her negligence gross in character. Gross negligence implies a want or absence of or failure to exercise slight care or diligence or the entire absence of care. It evinces a thoughtless disregard of consequences without exerting any effort to avoid them. She had not the

2.

3.

4.

Petitioner informed DOLE of its plan to implement a redundancy program in its Marketing Division and some department for the period starting October 1996 to December 1998. The letter alleged that the redundancy program is a response to the market situation which constrained petitioner to rationalize and simplify its business processes. The letter also states that petitioner will provide DOLE, a list of affected employee as it implements each phase of the redundancy program. Petitioner notified private respondent of his termination effective July 31, 1997 due to the redundancy of his position and awarded him a separation package. Respondent filed with LA a complaint for illegal dismissal against petitioner. LA rendered a decision in favor of petitioner finding that the dismissal from the service on the ground of redundancy was done in good faith and a valid exercise of management prerogative. On appeal, NLRC reversed the decision of the LA, declaring the dismissal of complainant to be illegal. NLRC expounded that although Art. 283 of the Labor Code authorized termination due to redundancy, there must be a factual basis; that the records did not disclose any evidence to show basis for respondents termination; that neither did petitioner send notice to DOLE one month prior to respondents dismissal. On review, the CA ruled that the evidence presented by petitioner are not only insufficient but also baseless and self-serving.

ISSUE: Whether private respondents termination on the ground of redundancy was valid. HELD: Private respondents termination was illegal. Article 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installment of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. Citing the case, Wiltshire File Co. Inc v. NLRC, the Court explained the nature of redundancy as an authorized cause for dismissal:

Redundancy in an employers personnel force necessarily or even ordinarily refers to duplication of work. That no other person was holding the same position that private respondent held prior to the termination of his services, does not show that his position had not become redundant. Redundancy for purposes of the Labor Code, exists where the services of an employee are in excess of what is reasonably demanded by the actual requirements of the enterprise. The employer must comply with the following requisites to ensure the validity of the implementation of a redundancy program: 1) a written notice served on both the employees and DOLE at least one month prior to the intended date of retrenchment; 2) payment of separation pay equivalent to at least one month pay or at least one month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher; 3) good faith in abolishing the redundant position; and 4) fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining what positions are to be declared redundant and accordingly abolished. In Asufrin Jr. v. San Miguel Corporation, the Court ruled that it is not enough for a company to merely declare that it has become overmanned. It must produce adequate proof of such redundancy to justify the dismissal of the affected employees. In Panlilio v. NLRC, the Court held that evidence must be present to substantiate redundancy such as bit not limited to the new staffing pattern, feasibility studies/proposal, on the viability of the newly created positions, job description and the approval by the management of the restructuring. In the instant case, there was no substantial evidence presented by petitioner to justify private respondents dismissal due to redundancy. A letter merely stating the plan of petitioner to implement a redundancy program, without contents as to the details necessary to effect the program does not meet the requirement of a written notice to be submitted to the DOLE under Article 283 of the Labor Code. The purpose of the written notice to the DOLE is to give it opportunity to ascertain the verity of the alleged authorized cause of termination. Petitioner also failed to show any fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining what position are redundant and how the selection of employees to be dismissed was made. In selecting employees to be dismissed, fair and reasonable criteria must be used such as but not limited to (a) less preferred status, e.g. temporary employee; (b) efficiency; and (c) seniority. No such appraisal was done in the present case. The absence of criteria in the selection of an employee to be dismissed renders the dismissal arbitrary. Article 283 of the Labor Code does not require that the employer should be suffering financial losses before he can terminate the services of the employee on the ground of redundancy. Whether it is retrenchment or redundancy, or any of the other authorized causes, no employee may be dismissed without observance of the fundamentals of fair play.

[G.R. No. 122165. February 17, 1997.] ALA MODE GARMENTS, INC., petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, (First Division) LUCRECIA V. GABA and ELSA I. MELARPES, respondents.

Facts:

8. 9. 10.

11. 12.

13. 14.

15.

16. 17.

Petitioner is a garments manufacturer and exporter. Private respondents were first hired as sewers. They were, in time, promoted to the position of line leaders, each tasked with supervising thirty-six (36) sewers. On May 5 and 6, 1993, all the line leaders in petitioner's establishment did not report for work. Acting on what appeared to be a concerted action to boycott petitioner's operations, petitioner verbally required private respondents to submit written explanations as to their absence. Both private respondents tendered their explanation letters to petitioner. Private respondent Gaba was absent on May 5 and 6, 1993 because her child was sick, while private respondent Melarpes was also absent because she was ill on said dates due to her pregnancy. Notwithstanding the submission by private respondents of their explanation letters, they were not allowed to resume their work. Petitioner alleged that it advised private respondents to await the decision of management, pending a company investigation as to whether or not the real reason for their absence was an intent to sabotage the operations of petitioner. Significantly, however, petitioner never denied that the other line leaders who were also absent on May 5 and 6, 1993, had been immediately allowed to resume their work despite their two-day absence. Private respondents filed with the NLRC separate complaints for, among others, illegal dismissal. Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision that private respondents were illegally dismissed from service on the mere suspicion that their two-day absence was actually a boycott to derail the operations of petitioner. The Labor Arbiter held that such suspicion was utterly unsupported by any evidence. The Labor Arbiter also found that private respondents' right to due process was violated in the absence of compliance by petitioner with the twin requirements of notice and hearing.

18. Petitioner appealed the aforecited decision of the Labor Arbiter to respondent NLRC. Such appeal, however, was dismissed. 19. Petitioners' theory was that it could not be liable for illegal dismissal, since private respondents have not been in fact dismissed from the service. Petitioner complained that after having told private respondents to wait for the decision of management, private respondents "jumped the gun" on them, so to speak, by filing the complaint for illegal dismissal. 20. MR denied. Hence, this petition.

backwages inclusive of allowances, and to their other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time their compensation was withheld from them up to the time of their actual reinstatement. Moreover, no deduction shall be allowed in accordance with the doctrine enunciated in the recent case of Bustamante vs. National Labor Relations Commission and Evergreen Farms, Inc. wherein this Court took the opportunity to clarify how Republic Act No. 6715 is to be interpreted. Should reinstatement no longer be feasible due to strained relations, the award of separation pay equivalent to one (1) month salary for every year of service, a fraction of six (6) months to be considered as one (1) year, shall be given. LexLib

Issue:

WON petitioners were illegally dismissed.

Held: YES

1.

2.

3.

It is undisputed by the petitioner, that private respondents were barred from entering the work premises while the other line leaders supposedly part of the boycott were allowed to return to work. The failure of the petitioner to accept the private respondents back after their absences constitutes constructive discharge or dismissal. A constructive discharge or dismissal is defined as a "quitting because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; as an offer involving a demotion in rank and a diminution in pay." Private respondents herein found it well nigh impossible to continue their employment, having been denied access into their workplace. In order to constitute a valid dismissal, two requisites must concur: (a) the dismissal must be for any of the causes expressed in Art. 282 of the Labor Code, and (b) the employee must be accorded due process, basic of which are the opportunity to be heard and to defend himself. The private respondents were never summoned by the management to air their side regarding the accusations of sabotage, but were only required to give explanations regarding their absences. Thus, even if, as petitioner claims the dismissal was due to the role played by the respondents in the alleged sabotage, the said dismissal is still invalid, as no notice was given and no hearing was conducted. Since the dismissal took place after the passage of R.A. 6715 and following the doctrine laid down in the case of Caltex Refinery Employees Association (CREA) vs. National Labor Relations Commission (Third Division). We hold that the private respondents are entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights, as well as to other privileges and their full