1. Drug use in employer’s premises constitutes serious misconduct. Article 282(a) of the Labor Code states that the employer may terminate an employment for serious misconduct. Drug use in the premises of the employer constitutes serious misconduct.

    Lack of written notices entitles employee to award of nominal damages. The propriety of [employee’s] dismissal is not affected by the lack of written notices. When the dismissal is for just cause, the lack of due process does not render the dismissal ineffectual but merely gives rise to the payment of P30,000 in nominal damages. (Bernardo B. Jose, Jr. vs. Michaelmar Phils., Inc., G.R. No. 169606, November 27, 2009.)

  2. Simple misconduct does not merit employee’s dismissal from service. Simple misconduct which does not merit employee’s termination from his employment. Although, an employer has the right to discipline its erring employees, exercise of such right should be tempered with compassion and understanding. The magnitude of the infraction committed by an employee must be weighed and equated with the penalty prescribed and must be commensurate thereto, in view of the gravity of the penalty of dismissal or termination from the service. The employer should bear in mind that in termination cases, what is at stake is not simply the employee’s job or position but his very livelihood.

    Proof that employer acted maliciously or in bad faith not necessary for award of attorney’s fees. In actions for recovery of wages or where an employee was forced to litigate and thus incur expenses to protect his rights and interests, a maximum of 10% of the total monetary award by way of attorney’s fees is justifiable under Article 111 of the Labor Code; Section 8, Rule VIII of Book III of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code; and paragraph 7, Article 2208 of the Civil Code. The award of attorney’s fees is proper and there need not be any showing that the employer acted maliciously or in bad faith when it withheld the wages. There need only be a showing that the lawful wages were not paid accordingly. (PLDT vs. Berbano, G.R. No. 165199, November 27, 2009.)

  3. When transfer of employee is tantamount to constructive dismissal. The employer must demonstrate that the transfer is not unreasonable, inconvenient, or prejudicial to the employee and that the transfer does not involve a demotion in rank or a diminution of salary and other benefits. If the employer fails to overcome this burden of proof, the employee’s transfer is tantamount to unlawful constructive dismissal. (Merck Sharp and Dohme (Philippines), et al. vs. Robles, et al., G.R. No. 176506, November 25, 2009.)
  4. Loss of confidence must be based on a willful breach of trust to justify dismissal. The loss of confidence must be based not on an ordinary breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by the employer, but on a willful breach.

    Willful breach of trust; Definition. A breach is willful if it is done intentionally, knowingly and purposely, without justifiable excuse, as distinguished from an act done carelessly, thoughtlessly, heedlessly, or inadvertently. It must rest on substantial grounds and not on the employer’s arbitrariness, whims, caprices or suspicion; otherwise, the employee would eternally remain at the mercy of the employer. It should be genuine and not simulated; nor should it appear as a mere afterthought to justify an earlier action taken in bad faith or as a subterfuge for causes that are improper, illegal or unjustified. (St. Luke’s Medical Center, Inc. vs. Fadrigo, G.R. No. 185933, November 25, 2009.)

  5. “Doctrine of strained relations”; Requirements for application of the doctrine. In order for the doctrine of strained relations to apply, it should be proved that the employee concerned occupies a position where he enjoys the trust and confidence of his employer and that it is likely that if reinstated, an atmosphere of antipathy and antagonism may be generated as to adversely affect the efficiency and productivity of the employee concerned. (Cabigting vs. San Migual Foods, Inc., G.R. No. 167706, November 5, 2009.)
  6. When corporate officer may be deemed employee of the company. The relationship of a person to a corporation, whether as officer or agent or employee, is not determined by the nature of the services he performs but by the incidents of his relationship with the corporation as they actually exist.

    That the employee served concurrently as corporate secretary for a time is immaterial. A corporation is not prohibited from hiring a corporate officer to perform services under circumstances which will make him an employee. Indeed, it is possible for one to have a dual role of officer and employee.

    Ibid.; Jurisdiction over money claims. NLRC has jurisdiction over a complaint filed by one who served both as corporate officer and employee, when the money claims were made as an employee and not as a corporate officer. (Gomez vs. PDMC, G.R. No. 174044, November 27, 2009.)

  7. Company-issued IDs and uniforms substantial proof of employment. It is common practice for companies to provide identification cards to individuals not only as a security measure, but more importantly to identify the bearers thereof as bona fide employees of the firm or institution that issued them. The provision of company-issued identification cards and uniforms to respondents, aside from their inclusion in MCI’s summary payroll, indubitably constitutes substantial evidence sufficient to support only one conclusion: that respondents were indeed employees of MCI. (Masonic Contractor, Inc., et al. vs. Madjos, et al., G.R. No. 185094, November 25, 2009.)

Last Edited: Friday, August 19, 2011

Caveat: Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.
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2 comments

  1. May Cardenas Comment:
    February 24th, 2012 at 03:17 pm

    Home-based employment. We are more or less 50 Filipino online (home-based) employees by a U.S. company working as writers,editors,I.T./marketing specialists,hr,accountants,etc. and being paid a regular salary of USD500-1000 (depending on the position)thru Paypal. Prior to assumption of our duties, we underwent a 2-month paid training online and were asked to sign a contract which the company drafted, indicating that we are not employees,and to be treated only as independent contractors.However,in contradiction to the terms of the contract, each of us is given a task to complete each day as contained in our assignment sheet for the day, with all the instructions that we have to do and how to do our tasks in detail. If we haven’t met the output that the employer company wanted, we would be ask to redo our tasks. If we would not submit our report, even if we have completed our tasks, we would not be paid.We operate just like working in a physical office where there are co-employees, supervisors,managers,small boss,medium boss and big boss.No work on Philippine holidays and we are entitled to 4-8 days of paid off per year. Our work and productivity are being monitored and we are mandated to submit a daily and weekly productivity report indicating the work we performed. For instance,the writers will each have to submit a daily productivity report (also in the employer’s own template/format)indicating all the articles they have written, the number of words,the time used in writing for each article,etc. and submitted to the hr and the managers. We are also required to work for a full 8 hours daily,excluding the breaktime, Mondays thru Fridays. Just imagine how a real physical office operates, that’s how we are. The employers’ representatives from the US (project managers) come to Manila regularly to meet with the Filipino contractors for bonding,socialization,trainings and additional instructions. Recently, I noticed that the daily workload being given to us has significantly increased. Even though we submit our daily productivity report indicating that we have worked, for instance, for 12 hours that day, we are not being paid overtime. It could have been pardoned if done for a single instance;but, the bulk of work just increase and increase each day,having us to work even beyond 12am. Worst of all, at their own whims and caprices, the employer can just terminate our contract at any time (even if we have been working for more than 6 months with them)… That’s what a lot of us have been suffering from. In my case, my contract was terminated after 7 months of working from them, for a supposed “plagiarism”. I asked them to give me a copy of the supposed plagiarized unpublished article,but they couldn’t show me anything. Also, the employer has full control of our work. What protection can we have should our work be slyly sabotaged to justify their end? I would like to file a case for illegal dismissal because of this, for the benefit of the other employees who suffer from injustice and oppression. Now,the next question is on jurisdiction about cases like this.

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  2. Hi there, Can somebody answer me? I have resigned from my previous employer last Aug 2013. My last pay was put on hold because I lost my company I.D. that was supposed to be returned to them. Is this a valid reason for holding my last salary? What will I do? Please help me. Thank you

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