Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Timoteo Sarona vs. National Labor Relations Commission, Royale Security Agency, [GR No. 185280, January 18, 2012]

FACTS: The petitioner, who was hired by Sceptre as a security guard, was asked by Karen Therese Tan, Sceptre's Operations Manager, to submit a resignation letter as the same was supposedly required for applying for a position at Royale.

Martin informed him that he would no longer be given any assignment per the instructions of Aida Sabalones-Tan, general manager of Sceptre. This prompted him to file a complaint for illegal dismissal. While complainant is entitled to backwages, we are aware that his stint with respondent Royale lasted only for one (1) month and three (3) days such that it is our considered view that his backwages should be limited to only three (3) months. The petitioner does not deny that he has received the full amount of his backwages and separation pay as provided under the NLRC's November 2005 Decision. However, he claims that this does not preclude this Court from modifying a decision that is tainted with grave abuse of discretion or issued without jurisdiction.

ISSUE: Whether the petitioner's backwages should be limited to his salary for three (3) months

RULING: No. In case separation pay is awarded and reinstatement is no longer feasible, backwages shall be computed from the time of illegal dismissal up to the finality of the decision should separation pay not be paid in the meantime. It is the employee's actual receipt of the full amount of his separation pay that will effectively terminate the employment of an illegaly dismissed employee. Otherwise, the employer-employee relationship subsists and the illegally dismissed employee is entitled to backwages, taking into account the increases and other benefits, including the 13th month pay, that were received by his co-employees who are not dismissed. It is the obligation of the employer to pay an illegally dismissed employee or worker the whole amount of the salaries or wages, plus all other benefits and bonuses and general increases, to which he would have been normally entitled had he not been dismissed and had not stopped working.

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