Selected Labor Law Jurisprudence, From Feb2009-January2013

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Transcript of Selected Labor Law Jurisprudence, From Feb2009-January2013

  • 7/21/2019 Selected Labor Law Jurisprudence, From Feb2009-January2013





    CBA; coverage. As regular employees, petitioners fall within the coverage of the bargaining unand are therefore entitled to CBA benefits as a matter of law and contract. Under the terms the CBA, petitioners are members of the appropriate bargaining unit because they are regularank-and-file employees and do not belong to any of theexcluded categories. Most importantlythe labor arbiters decision of January 17, 2002 affirmed all the way to the CA ruleagainst the companyssubmission that they are independent contractors. Thus, as regular rankand-file employees, they fall within the CBA coverage. And, under the CBAs express termthey are entitled to its benefits.

    CBA coverage is not only a question of fact, but of law and contract. The factual issue whether the petitioners are regular rank-and-file employees of the company. The tribunabelow uniformly answered this question in the affirmative. From this factual finding flows legeffects touching on the terms and conditions of the petitioners regular employment. FarleFulache, et al. vs. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation,G.R. No. 183810, January 21, 2010.Employee benefits; permanent disability benefits. In accordance with the avowed policy of thState to give maximum aid and full protection to labor, the Court applied the Labor Codconcept of permanent total disability to Filipino seafarers. The Court held that the notion odisability is intimately related to the workers capacity to earn. What is compensated is not themployees injury or illness but his inability to work resulting in the impairment of his earnin

    capacity; hence, disability should be understood less on its medical significance but more on thloss of earning capacity.In the present case, petitioner was able to secure afit to work certificationfrom a doctor onafter more than five months from the time he was medically repatriated due to a finding thahis disability is considered permanent and total. Significantly, petitioner remained unemployeeven after he filed on February 26, 2002 his complaint to recover permanent total disabilitcompensation and despite the August 31, 2005 Decision of the NLRC which was affirmed by thCourt of Appeals, ordering respondents to allow complainant to resume sea duty.That petitioner was not likely to fully recover from his disability is mirrored by the Labo

    Arbiters finding that his illness would possibly recur once he resumeshis sea duties. This couvery well be the reason why petitioner was not re-deployed by respondents. Petitionerdisability being then permanent and total, he is entitled to 100% compensation, i.eUS$80,000 for officers, as stipulated in par. 20.1.7 of the parties CBA. Rizaldy M. Quitorianvs. Jebsens Maritime, Inc./Ma. Theresa Gutay and/or Atle Jebsens Management A/S,G.R. N179868, January 21, 2010.

    Labor Code; interpretation.Another basic principle is that expressed in Article 4 of the LaboCode that all doubts in the interpretation and implementation of the Labor Code should binterpreted in favor of the workingman. This principle has been extended by jurisprudence t

    cover doubts in the evidence presented by the employer and the employee. The petitioner ha
  • 7/21/2019 Selected Labor Law Jurisprudence, From Feb2009-January2013


    at very least, shown serious doubts about the merits of the companys case, particularly in thappreciation of the clinching evidence on which the NLRC and CA decisions were based. Isuch contest of evidence, the Court applied Article 4 as basis to rule in favor of themployee. In this case, the Court held that petitioner was constructively dismissed given thhostile and discriminatory working environment he found himself in, particularly evidenced bthe escalating acts of unfairness against him that culminated in the appointment of anotheHRD manager without any prior notice to him. Where no less than the companys chie

    corporate officer was against him, petitioner had no alternative but to resign from hemployment.The Court also gave significance to the fact that petitioner sought almost immediate officirecourse to contest his separation from service through a complaint for illegal dismissal, anheld that this is not the act of one who voluntarily resigned; his immediate filing of a complaincharacterizes him as one who deeply felt that he had been wronged.Manolo A. Peaflor vOutdoor Clothing Manufacturing Corporation, et al.,G.R. No. 177114, January 21, 2010.

    Appeal; illegal dismissal. In the present case, the company terminated the services of foudrivers who were declared by the labor arbiter to be regular employees of the company in ainitial complaint filed by said drivers for regularization. Pending the companys appeal of thlabor arbiters decision, the company terminated the employment of said drivers on the grounof redundancy, which action, the Court viewed as an implied admission of the regulaemployment status of the drivers. The Court held that by implementing the dismissal action athe time the labor arbiters ruling was under review, the company unilaterally negated theffects of the labor arbiters ruling while at the same time appealing the same ruling to thNLRC. This unilateral move is a direct affront to the NLRCs authority and an abuse of thappeal process. All these go to show that company acted with patent bad faith. Farley Fulachet al. vs. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation,G.R. No. 183810, January 21, 2010.

    Appeal; questions of fact. The rule that a Rule 45 petition deals only with legal issues is not a

    absolute rule; it admits of exceptions. In the labor law setting, the Court may look into factuissues when there is a conflict in the factual findings of the labor arbiter, the NLRC, and thCA as in the present case where the labor arbiter found facts supporting the conclusion thathere had been constructive dismissal, while the NLRCs and the CAs factual findingcontradicted the labor arbiters findings. The conflicting factual findings are not binding on thCourt. The Court held that it retains the authority to pass upon the evidence presented andraw conclusions therefrom. Manolo A. Peaflor vs. Outdoor Clothing ManufacturinCorporation, et al.,G.R. No. 177114, January 21, 2010.

    Appeal under Rule 45; questions of law vs. questions of fact.Petitioners in the present case dnot question the findings of facts in the assailed decisions. They question the misapplication o

    the law and jurisprudence on the facts recognized by the decisions. For example, they questioas contrary to law their exclusion from the CBA after they were recognized as regular rank-andfile employees of the company. They also question the basis in law for the dismissal of foudrivers and the legal propriety of the redundancy action taken against them.The Court reiterated the established distinctions between questions of law and questions ofact by quoting its rulings in New Rural Bank of Guimba (N.E.) Inc. v. Fermina S. Abad anRafael Susan[G.R. No. 161818, August 20, 2008, 562 SCRA 503]: A question of law existwhen the doubt or controversy concerns the correct application of law or jurisprudence to certain set of facts; or when the issue does not call for an examination of the probative value othe evidence presented, the truth or falsehood of the facts being admitted. A question of fac

    exists when a doubt or difference arises as to the truth or falsehood of facts or when the quer
  • 7/21/2019 Selected Labor Law Jurisprudence, From Feb2009-January2013


    invites calibration of the whole evidence considering mainly the credibility of the witnesses, thexistence and relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances, as well as their relation to eacother and to the whole, and the probability of the situation. Farley Fulache, et al. vs. ABS-CBBroadcasting Corporation,G.R. No. 183810, January 21, 2010.Dismissal; burden of proof. It is a settled rule that in employee termination disputes, themployer bears the burden of proving that the employees dismissal was for just and valcause. That petitioner did indeed file a letter of resignation does not help the companys cas

    as, other than the fact of resignation, the company must still prove that the employevoluntarily resigned. There can be no valid resignation where the act was made undecompulsion or under circumstances approximating compulsion, such as when an employees aof handing in his resignation was a reaction to circumstances leaving him no alternative but tresign. In this case, the Court held that petitioner had been constructively dismissed as hresignation was a response to the unacceptable appointment of another person to a position hstill occupied. In sum, the evidence does not support the existence of voluntarinesin petitionersresignation. Manolo A. Peaflor vs. Outdoor Clothing Manufacturing Corporationet al.,G.R. No. 177114, January 21, 2010.