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G.R. No.

78090 July 26, 1991

PACIFIC MILLS, INC., petitioner,
ZENAIDA ALONZO, respondent.
From July 30, 1973 until September 30, 1982, Zenaida Alonzo was employed as a ring frame
operator in the Pacific Mills, Inc.
On September 20, 1982, Zenaida and other employees were reprimanded by Company Inspector
Ernesto Tamondong for wasting time by engaging in idle chatter. In the early afternoon of September 22,
1982, Zenaida challenged Tamondong to a fight and boxed him in the stomach. Tamondong reported the
incident to the firm's Administrative Manager and the Chairman of Barangay Balombato, Quezon City.
On September 30, 1982, Zenaida was given a Memorandum by the company's Executive Vice
President & General Manager terminating her employment as of October 1, 1982 on various grounds:
poor work, habitual absences and tardiness, wasting time, insubordination and gross disrespect.
On October 4, 1982, Zenaida instituted a complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment of
proportionate 13th month pay. The Labor Arbiter found that she had indeed verbally abused and struck
her superior, Tamondong, but was of the view that she was entitled to relief, because the penalty imposed
was harsh and severe, and the company had failed to investigate complainant before her dismissal. The
Arbiter ordered Pacific Mills, Inc. to reinstate Zenaida without the loss of her seniority rights and to pay
her backwages.
Whether or not the dismissal of an employee for just and reasonable case without prior due
process should be maintained
The Court held that while it is true that Pacific Mills, Inc. had not complied with the requirements
of due process prior to removing Zenaida Alonzo from employment, it is also true that subsequently, in
the proceedings before the Labor Arbiter in which Zenaida had taken active part, it had succeeded in
satisfactorily proving the commission by Zenaida of many violations of company rules and regulations
justifying termination of her employment. Under the circumstances, it is clear that, as the Solicitor
General has pointed out, the continuance in the service of the latter is patently inimical to her employer's
interests and that, citing San Miguel Corporation v. NLRC, the law, in protecting the rights of the laborer
authorizes neither oppression nor self-destruction of the employer.

G.R. No. L-5206

April 29, 1953


In February 1950, the Philippine Labor Organizations, Caltex Chapter made several
demands to the Caltex (Philippines) Inc. On August 10, 1951, the Court of Industrial Relations
required Caltex (Philippines) Inc. to pay its "eleven (11) female prewar employees...the
corresponding one-year gratuity that it has extended to its prewar male employees".
Caltex (Philippines) Inc. argued that the payment had been made only to prewar male
employees who were working for the company at the time the gratuity was given which was
not exactly the situation of the aforesaid female employees.
Whether or not the eleven (11) female prewar employees have the legal right to back pay
The Court ruled that prewar employees have no legal right to back pay, i.e., salary during
the war when they rendered no service to their employer. (Fitzsimmons vs. Atlantic Gulf, 1 47
Off. Gaz., 678.) Thinking along the same line, the Court recently cited "the age-old rule
governing the relation between labor and capital or management and employee, "a fair day's
wage for a fair day's labor'." (J.P. Heilbronn Co. vs. National Labor Union,2 G.R. No. L-5121.)
Hence as a matter of principal, these prewar female employees have no right to back pay.
However, the Court must agree with the Court of Industrial Relations that if prewar male
employees are granted backpay gratuity, prewar female employees should also be extended the
same privilege, on grounds of equity, remembering always the Government's constitutional duty
to protect labor, especially women, and the statutory injunction that in exercising its duties and
powers "the Court shall act according to justice and equity and the substantial merits of the case."
(Sec. 20, Commonwealth Act No. 103)

G.R. No. 46727

September 27, 1939


THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, composed of Honorables Francisco
Zulueta, Leopoldo Rovira, and Jose Generoso, and PAMPANGA BUS COMPANY,
INC., respondents.
On March 26, 1938, the Pambusco Employees' Union, Inc. addressed a thirteen-point
petition to the management of the Pampanga Bus Co. On April 14, 1938, upon the failure of the
company officials to act, a strike was declared by the workers. However, through the timely
mediation of the Department of Labor, a provisional agreement was reached, by virtue of which
the strike was called off, eight (8) demands were granted, and the remaining five (5) submitted to
the Court of Industrial Relations for settlement. One of these demands, is that the private
respondent pay to all Company drivers affiliated with the petitioner all the back overtime pay
due them under the law." After trial on the disputed demands, the Court of Industrial Relations
decided on January 14, 1939 that the claim for back overtime pay could not be allowed.
Whether or not the petitioners claim for back overtime pay should be allowed
On April 14, 1938, upon mutual agreement by the parties, the company worked out a
schedule beginning May 1, 1938, placing all its employees under an eight-hour schedule. In view
of the foregoing fact, the Court is of the opinion that the drivers are not entitled to the overtime
pay demanded for the whole period the law was not observed or enforced in the company. They
are entitled to payment of wages for hours worked in excess of the legal hours only beginning
May 1, 1938.

G.R. No. 79255 January 20, 1992

PHILIPPINES, INC. (formerly FILIPRO, INC.), respondents.
Nestle Philippines, Inc. (formerly Filipro Inc.) had excluded sales personnel from the
holiday pay award and changed the divisor in the computation of benefits from 251 to 261 days.
Both the petitioner and the private respondent submitted the case for voluntary arbitration and
appointed respondent Benigno Vivar, Jr. as arbitrator. In his decision, Vivar directed Filipro to
pay its employees holiday pay pursuant to Article 94 of the Code, subject only to the exclusions
and limitations specified in Article 82 and such other legal restrictions as are provided for in the
Filipro filed a motion for clarification seeking (1) the limitation of the award to 3 years,
(2) exclusion of its sales personnel (consisted by salesmen, sales representatives, truck drivers,
merchandisers and medical representatives) from the award of the holiday pay, and (3) deduction
from the holiday pay award of overpayment for overtime, night differential, vacation and sick
leave benefits due to the use of 251 divisor. On the same light, the Union filed their answer that
(1) the award should be made effective from the date of effectivity of the Labor Code on
November 1, 1974, (2) their sales personnel are not field personnel and are therefore entitled to
holiday pay, and (3) the use of 251 as divisor is an established employee benefit which cannot be
Vivar issued an order declaring that the holiday pay award shall retroact to the date of
effectivity of the Labor Code. However, he adjudged the sales personnel are field personnel not
entitled to holiday pay. He likewise ruled that the divisor should be changed from 251 to 261
due to the grant of 10 days holiday pay and ordered the reimbursement of overpayment for
overtime, night differential, vacation and sick leave pay.
Vivar forwarded the case to the National Labor Relations Commission, which remanded
the case on the ground that it has no jurisdiction to review decisions in voluntary arbitration
cases. In a letter, Vivar refused to take cognizance of the case because, according to him, he had
resigned from service already.
Whether or not Nestles sales personnel are entitled to holiday pay

Whether or not the use of 251 days as divisor should be diminished

Under Article 82, field personnel, defined as non-agricultural employees who regularly
perform their duties away from the principal place of business or branch office of the employer
and whose actual hours of work in the field cannot be determined with reasonable certainty, are
not entitled to holiday pay.
The law requires that the actual hours of work in the field be reasonably ascertained. The
company has no way of determining whether or not these sales personnel, even if they report to
the office prior to field work and come back, really spend the hours in between in actual field
The respondent Arbitrators order to change the divisor from 251 to 261 days would
result in a lower daily rate which is violative of the prohibition or non-diminution of benefits
under Article 100 of the Labor Code. To maintain the same daily rate if the divisor is adjusted to
261 days, then the dividend, which represents the employees annual salary, should
correspondingly be increased to incorporate the holiday pay.

G.R. No. 151966

July 8, 2005


JPL Marketing and Promotions is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of
recruitment and placement of workers. On the other hand, the private respondents were
employed by JPL as merchandisers on separate dates and assigned at different establishments in
Naga City and Daet, Camarines Norte as attendants to the display of California Marketing
Corporation (CMC), one of petitioners clients.
On August 13, 1996, JPL notified the private respondents that CMC would stop its direct
merchandising activity in the Bicol Region, Isabela, and Cagayan Valley effective August 15,
1996. They were advised to wait for further notice as they would be transferred to other clients.
However, on October 17, 1996, the private respondents filed before the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC) Regional Arbitration Branch complaints for illegal dismissal, praying for
separation pay, 13th month pay, service incentive leave pay and payment for moral damages.
Executive Labor Arbiter Gelacio L. Rivera, Jr. dismissed the complaints for lack of
merit. The Labor Arbiter found that Gonzales and Abesa applied with and were employed by the
store where they were originally assigned by JPL, even before the lapse of the six (6)-month
period pursuant to Article 286 of the Labor Code, to JPL to provide private respondents a new
assignment. Thus, they may be considered to have unilaterally severed their relation with JPL,
and cannot charge JPL with illegal dismissal. The Labor Arbiter held that it was incumbent upon
the private respondents to wait, and if not reassigned, they can file an action for separation pay
but not for illegal dismissal.
Whether or not the respondents are entitled to separation pay
Under Articles 283 and 284 of the Labor Code, separation pay is authorized only in cases
of dismissals due to any of these reasons: (a) installation of labor saving devices; (b) redundancy;
(c) retrenchment; (d) cessation of the employer's business; and (e) when the employee is

suffering from a disease and his continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to
his health and to the health of his co-employees.
However, separation pay shall be allowed as a measure of social justice in those cases
where the employee is validly dismissed for causes other than serious misconduct or those
reflecting on his moral character, but only when he was illegally dismissed.
In addition, Sec. 4(b), Rule I, Book VI of the Implementing Rules to Implement the
Labor Code provides for the payment of separation pay to an employee entitled to reinstatement
but the establishment where he is to be reinstated has closed or has ceased operations or his
present position no longer exists at the time of reinstatement for reasons not attributable to the
The common denominator of the instances where payment of separation pay is warranted
is that the employee was dismissed by the employer. In the instant case, there was no dismissal to
speak of. What the private respondents received from JPL was not a notice of termination of
employment, but a memorandum informing them of the termination of CMCs contract with JPL.
Thus, the private respondents are not entitled to separation pay. Nonetheless, JPL cannot
escape the payment of 13th month pay and service incentive leave pay, benefits mandated by law
given to employees as a matter of right.