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Monday, April 09, 2012

Baltazar vs. San Miguel Brewery Inc [G .R. No. L-23076 February 27, 1969]

Facts: The petitioner is the salesman-in-charge of San Miguel Brewery, Inc. in Dagupan warehouse with a monthly pay of P240.00, P5.00 per diem and a commission of P0.75 per case sold. On October 9, 1956, 8 days after Baltazar was appointed as the salesman-in-charge, the regular employees in Dagupan warehouse went on strike because of unjust treatment. Baltazar was recalled to appellants Manila Office on the 13th of October, 1956 upon the order of his superior and conduct an investigation. The investigation found that the employees’ grievances were well founded. The next day, the strikers returned to their work voluntarily. On October 15, the petitioner was informed that he was not to return to Dagupan anymore but he still reported to work at the main office from October 16 to November 2, 1956 waiting for assignment. From November 3 to December 19 on the same year, he absented himself from work without consent from his superiors and without advising them or anybody else of the reason for his prolonged absence. He was dismissed from work because of petitioner’s unauthorized absence and if the company would consider its health, welfare and retirement plan requiring sick leave, still the petitioner did inexcusable actions since sick leave, to be considered authorized and excusable, must be certified to by the company physician and the appellant-company informed that Baltazar was dismissed effective November 30, 1956. Baltazar initiated a complaint which the trial court ruled that Baltazar’s dismissal was justified but, however, ordering San Miguel Brewery Inc. to pay Baltazar one month separation pay, plus the cash value of 6 months accumulated sick leave. 

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to one month separation pay and the cash value of 6 months accumulated sick leave. 

HeldNo, the petitioner is not entitled to one month separation pay and the cash value of 6 months accumulated sick leave. Under the Marcaida vs. Philippine Education Company 53 O.G. No. 23, RA 1052 makes reference to termination of employment, instead of dismissal, to exclude employees separated from the service for causes attributable to their own fault. It is limited in its operation, to cases of employment without definite period. When the employment is for a fixed duration, the employer may terminate it even before the expiration of a stipulated period, should there be a substantial breach of obligations by the employee; in which event the latter is not entitles to advance notice or separation pay. it would patently, be absurd to grant a right thereto to an employee guilty of the same breach of obligation, when the employment is without a definite period, as if he were entitled to greater protection than employees engaged for a fixed duration. In connection with the question of whether or not petitioner is entitled to the cash value of 6 months accumulated sick leave, it appears that while under the last paragraph of Article 5 of appellant’s Rules and Regulations of Health, Welfare and Retirement Plan, unused sick leave may be accumulated up to a maximum of 6 months, the same is not commutable or payable in cash upon the employees’ option. 

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Wellington Investment & Manufacturing Corporation vs. Trajano [G.R. No. 114698 July 3, 1995]

Facts: By virtue of the routine inspection conducted by a Labor Enforcement Officer, Wellington Flour Mills owned by the petitioner-company was found non-payment of regular holidays falling on a Sunday for monthly-paid employees. Wellington argued that the monthly-paid employees already includes holiday pay for all regular holidays and there is no legal basis for the finding of alleged non-payment of regular holidays falling on a Sunday. It further contends that it pays its monthly paid employees a fixed monthly compensation using the “314 factor” which undeniably covers and already includes payment for all the working days in a month as well as all the 10 un-worked regular holidays within a year. The Regional Director ordered the petitioner to pay the employees additional compensation corresponding to 4 extra working days. However, the petitioner argued that the company, using the “314 factor” already gave complete payment of all compensation due to its workers. Petitioner appealed and was acted on by the respondent Undersecretary. But still, Regional Director’s decision was affirmed. Hence, this petition. 

Issue: Whether or not a monthly-paid employees, receiving a fixed monthly compensation, is entitled to an additional pay aside from his usual holiday pay whenever a regular holiday falls on a Sunday. 

Held: Regional Director’s decision, affirmed by the Undersecretary, is nullified and set aside. Every worker should be paid his regular daily wage during regular holidays; except in retail and service establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers, even if the worker does not work on these regular holidays. The Wellington had been paying its employees a salary of not less than the statutory minimum wage and that the monthly salary, thus, paid was not less than the statutory minimum wage multiplied by 365 days divided by 12. Apparently the monthly salary was fixed by Wellington to provide for compensation for every working day of the year including holidays specified by law and excluding only Sundays. Wellington leaves no day unaccounted for, it is paying for all the days of a year with the exception only of 51 Sundays. 

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Songco vs. NLRC [G.R. No. L-50999 March 23, 1990]

Facts: Zuellig (M) Inc. filed with the Department of Labor (Regional Office No. 4) a clearance to terminate the services of petitioners Jose Songco, Romeo Cipres and Amancio Manuel due to alleged financial losses. However, the petitioners argued that the company is not suffering any losses and the real reason for their termination was their membership in the union. At the last hearing of the case, the petitioner manifested that they no longer contesting their dismissal, however, they argued that they should be granted a separation pay. Each of the petitioners was receiving a monthly salary of P40, 000.00 plus commissions for every sale they made. Under the CBA entered by the Zuellig Inc. and the petitioners, in Article XIV, Section 1(a), Any employee, who is separated from employment due to old age, sickness, death or permanent lay-off not due to the fault of said employee shall receive from the company a retirement gratuity in an amount equivalent to one month’s salary per year of service. One month of salary as used in this paragraph shall be deemed equivalent to the salary at date of retirement; years of service shall be deemed equivalent to total service credits, a fraction of at least six months being considered one year, including probationary employment. Other basis for petitioners’ contention are Article 284 of the Labor Code with regards to reduction of personnel and Sections 9(b) and 10 of Rule 1, Book VI of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code. The Labor Arbiter rendered his decision directing the company to pay the complainants separation pay equivalent to their one month salary (exclusive of commissions, allowances, etc.) for every year of service that they have worked with the company. The petitioners appealed to the NLRC but it was denied. Petitioner Romeo Cipres filed a Notice of Voluntary Abandonment and Withdrawal of petition contending that he had received, to his full and complete satisfaction, his separation pay. Hence, this petition. 

Issue: Whether or not earned sales commissions and allowances should be included in the monthly salary of petitioners for the purpose of computation of their separation pay. 

Held: The petition is granted. Petitioners’ contention that in arriving at the correct and legal amount of separation pay due to them, whether under the Labor Code or the CBA, their basic salary, earned sales commissions and allowances should be added together. Insofar as whether the allowances should be included in the monthly salary of petitioners for the purpose of computation of their separation pay is concerned, this has been settled in the case of Santos vs. NLRC, 76721, in the computation of backwages and separation pay, account must be taken not only of the basic salary of petitioner but also of her transportation and emergency living allowances. In the issue of whether commission should be included in the computation of their separation pay, it is proper to define first commission. Black’s Law Dictionary defined commission as the recompensed, compensation or reward of an agent, salesman, executor, trustees, receiver, factor, broker or bailee, when the same is calculated as a percentage on the amount of his transactions or on the profit to the principal. The nature of the work of a salesman and the reason for such type of remuneration for services rendered demonstrate clearly that the commission are part of petitioners’ wage and salary. Some salesmen do not receive any basic salary but depend on commission and allowances or commissions alone, are part of petitioners’ wage and salary. Some salesman do not received any basic salary but depend on commission and allowances or commissions alone, although an employer-employee relationship exist. In Soriano v. NLRC, it is ruled then that, the commissions also claimed by petitioner (override commission plus net deposit incentive) are not properly includible in such base figure since such commissions must be earned by actual market transactions attributable to petitioner. Applying this by analogy, since the commissions in the present case were earned by actual market transactions attributable to petitioners, these should be included in their separation pay. In the computation thereof, what should be taken into account is the average commissions earned during their last year of employment. 

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State Marine Corporation vs. Cebu Seamen’s Association [G.R. No. L-12444 February 28, 1963]

Facts: The petitioners were engaged in the business of marine coastwise transportation. They had a CBA with the Cebu Seamen’s Association. On September 12, 1952, the respondent union filed a complaint against the petitioners alleging that the officers and men working on board the petitioners’ vessels have not been paid their sick leave, vacation leave and overtime pay; that the petitioners’ threatened then to accept the reduction of salaries, observed by other shipowners; that after the Minimum Wage Law had taken effect, the petitioners required their employees on board their vessels, to pay the sum of P0.40 for every meal, while the masters and officers were required to pay their meals and that because the captain had refused to yield to the general reduction of salaries, the petitioners dismissed the captain. The petitioner, on their defense, stated that they have suffered a financial losses in the operation of their vessels and there is no law which provides for the payment of sick leave or vacation leave to employees of private firms; that with regards to their overtime pay, they have always observed the Eight-hour labor Law and that overtime does not apply to those who provide means of transportation. The decision ruled in favor of the respondent union. Hence, this petition. 

Issue: Whether or not the required meals which the petitioner company deducted from the salary of the employees is considered as facilities, and not supplements. 

Held: Supplements constitute extra remuneration or special privileges or benefits given to or received by the laborers over and above their ordinary earnings or wages. Facilities, on the other hand, are items of expense necessary for the laborer’s and his family’s existence and subsistence so that by express provisions of law, they form part of the wage and when furnished by the employer are deductible therefrom, since if they are not so furnished, the laborer would spend and pay them just the same. It is argued that the food or meal given to the deck officers, marine engineers and unlicensed crew members in question, were mere facilities which should be deducted from wages, and not supplements which, according to Section 19 of the Minimum Wage Law, should not be deducted from such wages. It was found out that the meals were freely given to crew members prior to the effectivity of the Minimum Wage Law while they were on the high seas not as part of their wages but as a necessary matter in the maintenance of the health and efficiency of the crew members during the voyage. The deductions therein made for the meals given after August 4, 1951, should be returned to them, and the operator of the coastwise vessels should continue giving the benefits. Wherefore, the petition is dismissed, finding out that the meals or food in question are not facilities but supplements.
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Mabeza vs. NLRC [G.R. No. 118506 April 18, 1997]

Facts: Petitioner Norma Mabeza and her co-employees at the Hotel Supreme in Baguio City were asked by the hotel’s management to sign an instrument attesting to the latter’s compliance with minimum wage and other labor standard provision. The instrument provides that they have no complaints against the management of the Hotel Supreme as they are paid accordingly and that they are treated well. The petitioner signed the affidavit but refused to go to the City’s Prosecutor’s Office to confirm the veracity and contents of the affidavit as instructed by management. That same day, as she refused to go to the City Prosecutor’s Office, she was ordered by the hotel management to turn over the keys to her living quarters and to remove her belongings to the hotel’s premises. She then filed a leave of absence which was denied by her employer. She attempted to return to work but the hotel’s cashier told her that she should not report to work and instead continue with her unofficial leave of absence. Three days after her attempt to return to work, she filed a complaint against the management for illegal dismissal before the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC in Baguio City. In addition to that, she alleged underpayment of wages, non-payment of holiday pay, service incentive leave pay, 13th month pay, night differential and other benefits. Peter Ng, in their Answer, argued that her unauthorized leave of absence from work is the ground for her dismissal. He even maintained that her alleged of underpayment and non-payment of benefits had no legal basis. He raises a new ground of loss of confidence, which was supported by his filing of criminal case for the alleged qualified theft of the petitioner. The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of the hotel management on the ground of loss of confidence. She appealed to the NLRC which affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision. hence, this petition. 

Issue: Whether or not the dismissal by the private respondent of petitioner constitutes an unfair labor practice. 

Held: The NLRC’s decision is reversed. The pivotal question in any case where unfair labor practice on the part of the employer is alleged is whether or not the employer has exerted pressure, in the form of restraint, interference or coercion, against his employee’s right to institute concerted action for better terms and conditions of employment. Without doubt, the act of compelling employees to sign an instrument indicating that the employer observed labor standard provisions of the law when he might not have, together with the act of terminating or coercing those who refuse to cooperate with the employees’ scheme constitutes unfair labor practice. The labor arbiter’s contention that the reason for the monetary benefits received by the petitioner between 1981 to 1987 were less than the minimum wage was because petitioner did not factor in the meals, lodging, electric consumption and water she received during the period of computations. Granting that meals and lodging were provided and indeed constituted facilities, such facilities could not be deducted without the employer complying first with certain legal requirements. Without satisfying these requirements, the employer simply cannot deduct the value from the employee’s ages. First, proof must be shown that such facilities are customarily furnished by the trade. Second, the provision of deductible facilities must be voluntary accepted in writing by the employee. Finally, facilities must be charged at fair and reasonable value. These requirements were not met in the instant case. Private respondent failed to present any company policy to show that the meal and lodging are part of the salary. He also failed to provide proof of the employee’s written authorization and he failed to show how he arrived at the valuations. More significantly, the food and lodging, or electricity and water consumed by the petitioner were not facilities but supplements. A benefit or privilege granted to an employee for the convenience of the employer is not a facility. The criterion in making a distinction between the two not so much lies in the kind but the purpose. Considering, therefore, that hotel workers are required to work on different shifts and are expected to be available at various odd hours, their ready availability is a necessary matter in the operations of a small hotel, such as the private respondent’s hotel.
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Dimaandal vs. COA

Facts: Dimaandal, then holding the position of Supply Officer III, was designated Acting Assistant Provincial Treasurer for Administration by then Governor Vicente A. Mayo of Batangas. Pursuant to the designation, petitioner filed a claim for the difference in salary and Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA) of Assistant Provincial Treasurer and Supply Officer III for the whole year of 1993 in the total amount of P61,308.00. However, the Provincial Auditor disallowed the claim. Governor Mayo wrote to the Provincial Auditor requesting reconsideration of the subject disallowance but still the Provincial Auditor denied the request. Petitioner appealed to the respondent Commission on Audit which sustained the stand of the Provincial Auditor of Batangas as valid and proper, and on the grounds that1) petitioner was merely designated as an Assistant Provincial Treasurer for Administration in addition to his regular duties, 2) the Governor of Batangas had no authority to designate him to the said position.As such, he is not entitled to receive an additional salary. 

Issue: Whether or not an employee who is designated in an acting capacity is entitled to the difference in salary between his regular position and the higher position to which he is designated. 

Held: No. First, Sec. 471 of LGC provides that “ An Assistant treasurer may be appointed by the Secretary of Finance from a list of at least three (3) ranking eligible recommendees of the governor or mayor, subject to civil service law, rules and regulations”. Undoubtedly, the aforecited laws do not authorize the Provincial Governor to appoint nor even designate one temporarily in cases of temporary absence or disability or a vacancy in a provincial office. That power resides in the President of the Philippines or the Secretary of Finance. 

Second, The right to the salary of an Assistant Provincial Treasurer is based on the assumption that the appointment or designation thereof was made in accordance with law. Considering that petitioner's designation was without color of authority, the right to the salary or an allowance due from said office never existed. 

Lastly, There is a great difference between an appointment and designation. While an appointment is the selection by the proper authority of an individual who is to exercise the powers and functions of a given office, designation merely connotes an imposition of additional duties, usually by law, upon a person already in the public service by virtue of an earlier appointment. It does not entail payment of additional benefits or grant upon the person so designated the right to claim the salary attached to the position. 



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Arimao vs. Taher

Facts: Petitioner was appointed as Director II, Bureau of Non-formal Education, DECS-ARMM.. Thereafter, on 17 July 1995, respondent was appointed Education Supervisor II. Petitioner’s appointment was eventually disapproved by the Civil Service Commission-Field Office (CSC-FO), Cotabato City, for failure to meet the experience required for the position. On 02 May 1996, the CSC, through Resolution No. 96- 3101, affirmed the findings of the CSC-FO and ordered petitioner to be reverted to her former position of Education Supervisor II. The TESDA-ARMM allowed that she and respondent are reporting to the same position. In the interim, petitioner applied for and was granted by the DECS-ARMM an academic scholarship to a period of one year with pay. However, after the expiration of her study leave, she failed to report to his office so Secretary of ARMM declared he to have been r Absent Without Leave (AWOL) and directed that she be dropped from the payroll. However, ARMM Governor ordered her reinstatement. Respondent then filed petition for prohibition against the governor. 

Issues: 

(1) Whether or not the Regional Governor has a right to reinstate petitioner despite the AWOL order against petitioner. 

(2) Whether or not there is violation of doctrine of exhaustion for filing prohibition before the court. 

(3) Whether or nor the AWOL order against petitioner validated respondent’s occupancy of the position of Education Supervisor II. 

Held: 

(1) No. Under Republic Act No. 6734, executive power in the ARMM is vested in the Regional Governor, who has control of all the regional executive commissions, boards, bureaus and offices, and exercises general supervision over the local government units within the Autonomous Region However, by ordering the reinstatement of petitioner to her former position based upon an outdated CSC Resolution, despite the AWOL order and her being dropped from the rolls, ARMM Regional Governor Misuari acted with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to excess of jurisdiction. Likewise, with the finality of the AWOL order and her (petitioner) having been dropped from the rolls, petitioner legally lost her right to the position of Education Supervisor II. 

(2) No. In the instant case, the legal question of whether a memorandum of the ARMM Governor, ordering the reinstatement of an employee declared AWOL and dropped from the rolls, was issued in excess of jurisdiction is a legal question which should be resolved by the courts. For the same reason that the issues to be resolved in this case are purely legal in nature, respondent need not abide by the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies. Besides, to allow the matter to remain with the Office of the ARMM Governor for resolution would be self-defeating and useless and cause unnecessary delay since it was the same office which gave the conflicting issuances on petitioner’s reinstatement. 

(3)  No. All the same, however, respondent cannot continue her unauthorized occupancy, notwithstanding the fact that the position of Education Supervisor II has been vacant since 1999. Absent any showing that she has been reappointed to the position after petitioner was declared AWOL and dropped from the rolls, respondent cannot lay a valid claim thereto
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