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Baguio Country Club vs NLRC

Petitioner Baguio Country Club Corporation (corporation) is a recreational establishment


certified by the ministry of labor and employment as an “entertainment-service” establishment.

Private respondent Jimmy Calamba was employed by corporation on a day to day basis in
various capacities as laborer and diswasher for a period of ten months. Calamba was hired again
as a gardener and rehired as such when he was dismissed by the petitioner corporation.

Calamba filed a complaint against petitioner corporation with the ministry of labor (DOLE) for
unfair labor practice, illegal dismissal and non-payment of 13th month pay. The executive labor
arbiter ruled in favor of Calamba, declaring the latter as a regular employee and ordering
petitioner corporation to reinstate Calamba to the position of gardener without loss of seniority
and with full backwages, benefits and privileges from the time of his dismissal up to the
reinstatement including 13th month pay.

Petitioner corporation filed an appeal to the NLRC contending that Calamba was a contractual
employee whose employment was for a fixed and specific period as set forth and evidenced by
Calamba’s contracts of employment. However, the NLRC dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.
The latter argued that Calamba having rendered services as laborer, gardener,and dishwasher for
more than one year, was a regular employee at the time his employment was terminated.

Hence, this petition.

Issue: whether or not Calamba is a regular employee at the time his employment was terminated.

Ruling: YES

The court held that an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been
engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or
trade of the employer. Also, if the employee has been performing the job for at least one year,
even if the performance is not continuous or merely intermittent, the law deems the repeated and
continuing need for its performance as sufficient evidence of the necessity if not indespensability
of that activity to the business. Hence, the employment is also considered regular, but ony with
respect to such activity and while such activity exists.

In the case at bar, the records reveal that Calamba was repeatedly re-hired to perform tasks
ranging from dishwasing and gardening, aside from performing maintenace work. Such repeated
rehiring and the continuing need for his service are sufficient evidence of the necessity and
indespensability of his service to the petitioner’s business or trade.

Owing to Calamba’s length of service with the petitioner’s corporation, he bacame a regular
employee, by operation of law, one year after he was employed.
The employment contracts entered into by Calamba with the petitioner have the purpose of
circumventing the employee’s security of tenure. The court therefore, rigorously disapproves
said contracts which demonstrate a clear attempt to exploit the employee and deprive him of the
protection sanctioned by the labor code.

It is noteworthy that what determines whether a cetain employment is regular or casual is not the
will and word of the employer, it is the nature of the activities performed in relation to the
particular business or trade considering all circumstances, and in some cases the length of time of
its performance and its continued existence.