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Republic of the Philippines

Department of Labor and Employment


NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
National Capital Region
Quezon City

Hon. Labor Arbiter JOIE PIMENTEL

MARIA JUANA GARCIA


Complainant,

-versus- NLRC NCR CASE NO. NCR-01-1234567

CUSTOMER CARE PHILIPPINES INC.


Respondent,
x--------------------------------------------x

COMPLAINT

Complainant, MARIA JUANA GARCIA, with the assistance of the


undersigned counsel, unto this Honorable Office, most respectfully states:

PREFATORY STATEMENTS

The State is bound under the Constitution to afford full protection to


labor and when conflicting interests of labor and capital are to be weighed
on the scales of social justice, the heavier influence of the latter should be
counterbalanced with the sympathy and compassion the law accords the less
privileged workingman. This is only fair if the worker is to be given the
opportunity and the right to assert and defend his cause, not as a subordinate
but as part of management with which he can negotiate on even plane. Thus,
labor is not a mere employee of capital but its active and equal partner.1

NATURE OF THE CASE

This is an action for illegal dismissal, full backwages, separation pay,


claim for nominal, moral and exemplary damages, and complainant’s counsel
for attorney’s fees.

THE PARTIES

Complainant MARIA JUANA GARCIA, of legal age, married and


residing at 960 Miguelin Street Sampaloc Manila.

Respondent, CUSTOMER CARE PHILIPPINES INC., is a


corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of the

1
Fuentes, et al. v. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 110017, January 2, 1997
Page 1
Philippines, and it may be served with summons, notices and other processes
at Level 66 6 Ecom Center MOA Complex, Pasay City, NCR 1850.

FACTS OF THE CASE

1. Complainant started working for the respondent company on June 24,


2006 as a call center agent. Brought about her sterling performance, she
was able to climb the corporate ladder and eventually became an
Operations Manager as evidenced by her Certificate of Employment
hereto attached as ANNEX “A”.

2. Her duties as an Operations Manager usually involves managing the day


to day operations of the company and overseeing 12 supervisors/team
leaders under her team. Her shift usually starts during 12 midnight and
ends at 9 am the next day. Complainant was earning THREE HUNDRED
and EIGHTY CENTAVOS (300.80 php/hr) per hour, and her monthly
rate was FIFTY TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED THIRTY
EIGHT Pesos (52,338 php) as evidenced by her employment personal
information hereto attached as ANNEX “B”.

3. Complainant worked religiously for the company for over 11 years


without any infractions or issues at all. Not until August 8, 2017, when
complainant was called to a meeting with respondent company’s Senior
Operations Manager LIM TONG LIM. During the meeting complainant
was given a notice to explain (NTE for brevity) for several unsubstantiated
allegations such as using unauthorized video call during work hours
allegedly showing the production floor, accepting personal calls during
meetings, unauthorized internet usage and downloading of applications.

4. Accordingly, complainant complied and sent an email explaining her


defense on the alleged infractions, as evidenced by the screenshots of her
email hereto attached as ANNEX “C series”. In her explanation,
complainant countered that these allegations were merely conjectures sans
any witnesses or documentary evidence to prove the same. In addition,
during the administrative hearing complainant questioned the procedure
by which the respondent company got hold of her laptops downloaded
applications. Furthermore, she raised the double standards issue, why was
she being singled out on the unauthorized internet use when most of her
colleagues openly used their laptop for personal reasons such as booking
tickets online and browsing their facebook pages.

5. True enough, after two months since complainant received her Notice to
Explain (NTE), respondent company rendered a decision exonerating the
complainant on all charges except unauthorized downloading of app such
as viber and GTA. Complainant was meted out with a penalty of FINAL
WARNING, admonishing her from committing the same infraction again,
otherwise she will be terminated from service. A copy of the Decision
hereto attached as ANNEX “D”.

6. Thinking complainant was already out in the clear, she was surprised to
receive another Notice to Explain (NTE) for the alleged unauthorized

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insertion of a USB in her laptop with a concomitant penalty of termination.
On top of this new charge, the HR uploaded the results of the investigation
in their computer system which can be viewed by the other operations
managers, to make things worse, the newly uploaded records of herein
complainant did not reflect her exoneration from the charges.

7. As a result, complainant’s fellow operations manager and her seniors were


able to access her records without knowledge that she was actually
exonerated from these charges. Verily, this tarnished the reputation of the
complainant and her credibility amongst her colleagues being an
Operations Manager which resulted to her being ostracized and
discriminated. For example, when a certain infraction is committed, the
standard operating procedure was to subject the employee to coaching by
her supervisors, unfortunately, this was not the case for the complainant.
Her supervisors/senior operating managers, never subjected the
complainant to coaching whenever she allegedly commits an infraction,
things would always be escalated to NTE and hearing. To be succinct, her
working relationship with her fellow operation manager especially the
senior operation managers was already strained to the point that
complainant decided to forego of her employment because of their harsh
treatment.

8. Aggrieved by the unjust, illegal, and baseless act of her employer,


complainant sought the assistance of the Honorable Commission. Efforts
were made to reach an amicable settlement but the same did not prosper,
hence, the present action.

ISSUES

I. Whether or not complainant was illegally constructively


dismissed from service
II. Whether or not complainant is entitled to her money claims
III. Whether or not complainant is entitled to award of damages
and attorney’s fees

I. COMPLAINANT WAS
ILLEGALLY DISMISSED AS HER
EMPLOYMENT WAS
TERMINATED WITHOUT JUST
AND AUTHORIZED CAUSE

A. Complainant is a regular employee who enjoy


security of tenure under the law

I.A.1. Complainant is a regular employee who enjoys security of tenure at the


time she was illegally dismissed. As held by the Supreme Court regarding
security of tenure:

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Well-established is the rule that regular employees
enjoy security of tenure and they can only be dismissed for
just or valid cause and upon compliance with due process,
i.e., after notice and hearing. In cases involving an
employee’s dismissal, the burden is on the employer to
prove that the dismissal was legal.2

I.A.2. In support of this position, Article 280 of the Labor Code of the
Philippines explicitly determines who, by law, are considered as regular
employees, to wit:

Art. 280. Regular and casual employment. The provisions


of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and
regardless of the oral agreement of the parties, 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, except where the employment has
been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the
completion or termination of which has been determined
at the time of the engagement of the employee or where
the work or service to be performed is seasonal in nature
and the employment is for the duration of the season.
(underscoring ours)

I.A.3. Here, Complainant performs the task of an OPERATIONS MANAGER


in a call center company, which is usually necessary or desirable in the usual
business or trade of TELETECH CUSTOMER CARE MANAGEMENT
PHILIPPINES INC which is engaged in business process outsourcing.

B. Complainant was Illegally Constructively


Dismissed

I.B.1. Constructive dismissal exists when an employee is forced to forego


his/her employment brought about the clear act of discrimination, insensibility
or disdain by his/her employer leaving him/her with no choice but to tender
his/her voluntary resignation, as succinctly ruled by the Supreme court:

“Likewise, constructive dismissal exists when an act of clear


discrimination, insensibility or disdain by an employer has
become so unbearable to the employee leaving him with no
option but to forego with his continued employment3”

I.B.2. Admittedly, the law protects the prerogatives of employers to discipline


and dismiss their erring, dishonest, incompetent, and grossly negligent

2
Judy O. Dacuital,et. al. v. L.M. Camus Engineering Corporation And/Or Luis M. Camus,
G.R. No. 176748, September 1, 2010
3
Peckson v. Robinsons Supermarket Corporation, G.R. No. 198534, July 3, 2013, 700
SCRA 668, 681, citing Blue Dairy Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission,
373 Phil. 179, 186 (1999).
Page 4
employees, the workers, on the other hand, are enjoying the fullest protection
of the Constitution, the Labor Code and well-settled labor jurisprudence,
especially on their fundamental right to security of tenure. That is why
whenever management subjects an employee to harassment, intimidation,
coercion or subjects him to grave insult and ridicule, pushing the worker to
resignation, that is, a clear a case of illegal constructive dismissal.

I.B.3. Based on the totality of the circumstance, it is abundantly clear that


herein complainant was constructively dismissed from service. Respondent
company continuously harassed and discriminated herein complainant by
issuing her several notice to explain on charges that are fabricated sans any
documentary proof. Adding insult to injury, complainant was never subjected
to coaching by her supervisors as a condition sine qua non before a case can
be escalated to a full blown administrative hearing. In view of this unbearable
circumstance manifested by a clear act of disdain and discrimination against
the complainant, the latter was left with no choice but to sever ties with the
respondent company.

I.B.4. It bears to emphasize that complainant immediately filed this extant


labor case after she was constructively dismissed from service, barring any
argument of afterthought shenanigans.

I.B.5. In a case4 decided by the Supreme Court on March 1, 2017, the highest
court of the land enunciated once again the need to respect the employees’
right to security of tenure. The Supreme Court held that the immediate filing
of a complaint for illegal dismissal would be the best evidence that
contradicts what employers allege as voluntary resignation.

I.B.6. In view of the foregoing disquisitions, it is submitted before the


Honorable Arbiter that Respondent acted out of clear disdain and insensibility
when it terminated the services of herein complainant, hence, she was illegally
dismissed.

II. COMPLAINANT IS ENTITLED TO,


SEPARATION PAY, AND
BACKWAGES

II.1. As comprehensively discussed, Complainant was illegally dismissed


from service. Applying the rule in cases of illegal dismissal where the
employee is entitled to full back wages and reinstatement, Complainant is
entitled to such remedies. As expressly cited under the Labor Code:

Art. 279. Security of tenure. In cases of regular


employment, the employer shall not terminate the
services of an employee except for a just cause or when
authorized by this Title. An employee who is unjustly
dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement
without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and
to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his

4
Flordaliza Grande vs Philippine Nautical Training College ,GR 213137 ,March 1 2017
Page 5
other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed
from the time his compensation was withheld from him
up to the time of his actual reinstatement. (As amended
by Section 34, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989)

II.2. If reinstatement is no longer feasible or when there is a strained


relationship, SEPARATION PAY SHALL BE GIVEN IN LIEU OF
REINSTATEMENT. As held by the Supreme Court in the case of TAN
BROTHERS CORPORATION OF BASILAN CITY THROUGH ITS
OWNER/MANAGER, MAURO F. TAN v. EDNA R. ESCUDERO5,

Under Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended,


employees who have been illegally terminated from
employment are entitled to the twin reliefs of
reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and to the
payment of full back wages corresponding to the period
from their illegal dismissal up to actual reinstatement.
Reinstatement is a restoration to the state from which one
has been removed or separated, while the payment of
backwages is a form of relief that restores the income that
was lost by reason of the unlawful dismissal. Proper
where reinstatement is not advisable or feasible as when
antagonism already caused a severe strain in the
relationship between the employer and the employee,
separation pay may also be awarded where, [as here,]
reinstatement is no longer practical or in the best interest
of the parties or when the employee decides not to be
reinstated anymore.

II.3. In view of the strained relations between respondent company and the
Complainant, reinstatement is no longer practical. Hence, in lieu thereof, the
Complainant should be entitled to her separation pay.

II.4. Considering further that Complainant was unduly deprived of her


employment where she enjoy security of tenure, the same entitles her to the
award of backwages. As succinctly discussed in BUHAIN v. COURT OF
APPEALS6:

Backwages is a form of relief that restores the income that


was lost by reason of unlawful dismissal. The rationale
for the relief is that an employee whose dismissal is found
to be illegal is considered not having left his office so that
he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrue to
him by virtue of the office that he held.

II.5. Stated otherwise, backwages are granted for earnings a worker has lost
due to his illegal dismissal. An employer is obliged to pay an illegally
dismissed employee the whole amount of salaries plus all other benefits and
5
G.R. No. 188711, July 8, 2013
6
Buhain v. Court of Appeals, 383 SCRA 602

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bonus and general increases to which the latter would have been normally
entitled had he not been dismissed.7

II.6. Thus, Complainant is entitled to all her salaries from the day she was
illegally terminated up to the resolution of this case.

III. COMPLAINANT IS ENTITLED


TO NOMINAL, MORAL, AND
EXEMPLARY DAMAGES PLUS
ATTORNEY’S FEES

III.1. For Respondent’s utter disregard in bad faith of the standards set by
labor code, particularly the observance of the process in terminating the
employment of herein complainant, respondent should be made to pay
NOMINAL DAMAGES.

III.2. Further, because of the illegal, baseless, and utterly unjustified


termination of her employment, Complainant suffered mental anguish, serious
anxiety and mild depression arising from the sudden cessation of her only
source of income, for which she should be compensated by way of MORAL
DAMAGES.

III.3. Also, to deter other employers from future violations of the statutory due
process emanating from the rights of employees and, at the very least, provide
for vindication or recognition of this fundamental right granted to the latter
under the Labor Code and its Implementing rules, Complainant must also be
awarded with EXEMPLARY DAMAGES.

III.4. Finally, in view of the reckless and wanton attitude of the Respondent
in illegally terminating the employment of Complainant, the latter was
constrained to seek the assistance of a counsel to bring the present action and
pay other expenses. Thus, Respondent/s should be made to pay Attorney’s
fees in the amount judiciously determined as reasonable by the Honorable
Arbiter.

III.5. Settled is the rule that when the conflicting interest of loan and capital
are weighed on the scales of social justice, the heavier influence of the latter
must be counter-balanced by the sympathy and compassion the law must
accord the under-privileged worker.8 Thus, the case at bar must necessarily
prosper.

PRAYER
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, it is most respectfully
prayed from this Honorable Office that judgment be rendered:

7
St. Louis College of Tuguegarao v. NLRC, 177 SCRA 157 [1989]
8
Manaya v. Alabang Country Club Incorporated, G. R. No. 168988, 19 June 2007.
Page 7
1. DECLARING Complainant to have been illegally dismissed by the
Respondent;
2. ORDERING Respondent to jointly and solidarily PAY:
a. Separation pay, and full backwages.
b. Nominal, Moral and Exemplary Damage; and
c. Attorney’s Fees

Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are likewise prayed
for.

Quezon City, November 22, 2018.

MARIA JUANA GARCIA


Complainant

FUERTE LAW OFFICE


Counsel for Complainant
14th Floor Philamlife Tower
8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City
Tel. No. 702-5930 to 02
Email: vloffice@gmail.com

By:
MA. FLORENCE R. FUERTE
Contact No.: 09155441851/413-0000
IBP No. 457133/1-3-2014/Manila
PTR No. 32414131/1-3-2014/Manila
MCLE Complaince No. V-0012345
Roll No. 12345

VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION


AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING

I, the undersigned affiant, of legal age, after being duly sworn, depose
and say:

4. That I am the complainant in the above-entitled case;


5. That I have caused the preparation of the foregoing Position Paper;
6. That I have read the same and the allegations contained therein are true
and correct of my personal knowledge and/or based upon the authentic
records of the case;

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7. That I hereby certify that I have not commenced any other action or
proceeding involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court
of Appeals, or any other tribunal or quasi-judicial agency in this
jurisdiction;
8. That to the best of my own knowledge, no such action or proceeding is
pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other
tribunal or quasi-judicial agency in this jurisdiction;
9. That if I should thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has
been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of
Appeals, or any other tribunal or quasi-judicial agency in this
jurisdiction, I undertake to report that fact within five (5) days
therefrom to this Honorable Labor Arbiter.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand this 22nd day of


November 2018 in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

MARIA JUANA GARCIA


Affiant

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 22nd of November


2018 in Quezon City, Philippines. Affiant, who is known to me to be the
person who executed the foregoing position paper, exhibited to me her
Passport ID # 123456789 as competent proof of her identity.

Notary Public

Doc No. ______


Page No. _____
Book No. _____
Series of 2018

Copy Furnished:
CUSTOMER CARE MANAGEMENT INC.
Level 66 Six E Com Center, Block 18
Pacific Drive Extension, Pasay City

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