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Lolita Lopez vs Bodega City and/or Andres C.

Torres-Yap
G.R. No. 155731
September 3, 2007

Topic: Elements of Employer-Employee Relationship

Facts: Lopez was the lady keeper of Bodega City tasked to man it’s ladies
comfort room. In one occasion, Lopez was caught sleeping while on duty and so
the customer informed the management. Lopez was given a letter asking her to
explain why the concessionaire agreement between her and Bodega City should
not be terminated or suspended. In a subsequent letter, in was indicated that
Bodega City decided to terminate the concessionaire agreement between Lopez.

Lopez then filed for illegal dismissal contending that she was dismissed without
cause and due process. Bodega City, then responded that no “employer-
employee” relationship existed and it was just a concessionaire agreement.

Labor Arbiter denied, NLRC remanded to new Labor arbiter who rendered that
Lopez was indeed an employee. NLRC, set aside the decision. CA denied the
appeal.

Lopez was contending that she was an employee of Bodega City because,
(1) the concessionaire agreement was only offered to her during her 10 th year
of service after organizing a union and filed complaints;
(2) she received special allowance, which is a clear evidence that she was an
employee;
(3) she was given ID that clearly shows she is not a concessionaire; and
(4) she was required to follow rules and regulations prescribing appropriate
conduct while she was in the premises of Bodega City.

Issue: Whether or not there is an employer-employee relationship between the


parties.

Held: No employer-employee relationship between the parties, therefore


Lopez in not an employee of Bodega City.

Court applied the Four-fold test:


(1) the manner of selection and engagement;
Not present in the case

(2) the payment of wages;


Lopez presented a petty cash voucher showing that she received an
allowance. Petty cash voucher did not prove that she is has been receiving
salary. That if she is indeed an employee, she would be able to present a salary
voucher or pay slip and not just petty cash voucher.
(3) the presence or absence of the power of dismissal; and
Not present in the case

(4) the presence or absence of the power of control.


Lopez failed to cite an instance that proves that she was subject to control
insofar as the manner in which she should perform her job, as a lady keeper was
concerned. She was only required to follow the rules and regulations prescribing
appropriate conduct while in the premises of Bodega. Said rules and regulations
was part of the terms and conditions in the concessionaire agreement in 1992.
(not Labor related but sir might ask: she said she didn’t sign the said document.
Although she did not sign, the fact that she performed all the tasks indicated for a
period of 3 years without complaint or question, only goes to show that e has
given her implied consent)

There is nothing in the agreement, which specifies the methods and manner by
which Lopez should maintain the cleanliness of the comfort room. Lopez was
given a free hand as to how she would perform her job.

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