Question:

Sergio, an employee of Encantado Philippines, Inc. (EPI), was at the company canteen when Corazon, a canteen helper, questioned him for his use of somebody else’s identification card (ID). Sergio flared up and shouted at Corazon “Wala kang pakialam! Kung gusto mo, itapon ko itong mga pagkain ninyo!” When Sergio noticed that some people where staring at him rather menacingly, he left the canteen but returned a few minutes later to remark challengingly “Sino ba ang nagagalit” Sergio then began smashing some food items that were on display for sale in the canteen, after which he slapped Corazon which caused her to fall and suffer contusions. The incident prompted Corazon to file a written complaint with Gustavo, the personnel manager of EPI, against Sergio.

Gustavo required Sergio to explain in writing why no disciplinary action should be taken against him. In his written explanation. Sergio admitted his misconduct but tried to explain it away by saying that he was under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident. Gustavo thereafter issued a letter of termination from the employment of Sergio for serious misconduct.

Sergio now flies a complaint for illegal dismissal, arguing that his acts did not constitute serious misconduct that would justify his dismissal.

Decide.

(1996)

Suggested Answer:

The dismissal is not justified because the serious misconduct committed by Sergio is not in connection with his work. In order to constitute a “just cause” for dismissal, the act complained of must be related to the performance of the duties of the employee such as would show him to be thereby unfit to continue working for the employer.

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