Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Alert Security and Investigation Agency, Inc., et al. vs. Saidali Pasawilan, et al., G.R. No. 182397. September 14, 2011.

Termination; illegal dismissal. In the case at bar, respondent security guards were relieved from their posts because they filed with the Labor Arbiter a complaint against their employer for money claims due to underpayment of wages. The Supreme Court found that this was not a valid cause for dismissal. The Labor Code enumerates several just and authorized causes for a valid termination of employment. An employee asserting his right and asking for minimum wage is not among those causes. 

Termination; abandonment of work. Petitioners aver that respondents were merely transferred to a new post wherein the wages are adjusted to the current minimum wage standards. They maintain that the respondents voluntarily abandoned their jobs when they failed to report for duty in the new location. Assuming that this contention was true, the Supreme Court held that there was no abandonment of work. For there to be abandonment: first, there should be a failure of the employee to report for work without a valid or justifiable reason, and second, there should be a showing that the employee intended to sever the employer-employee relationship. The fact that petitioners filed a complaint for illegal dismissal is indicative of their intention to remain employed with private respondent. On the first element of failure to report for work, in this case, there was no showing that respondents were notified of their new assignments. Granting that the “Duty Detail Orders” were indeed issued, they served no purpose unless the intended recipients of the orders are informed of such. Therefore, the Court held that there was no abandonment of work in this case. Alert Security and Investigation Agency, Inc., et al. vs. Saidali Pasawilan, et al., G.R. No. 182397. September 14, 2011.

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