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Case Digest on Torres v. NLRC, G.R. No. 107014, April 12, 2000- Labor Law

April 12, 2011

Case Digest on Torres v. NLRC, G.R. No. 107014, April 12, 2000- Labor Law


Q: On December 1986, De La Salle University and De La Salle University Employee’s Association, which is composed of regular non-academic rank and file employees entered into a CBA.  During the freedom period of such CBA, the Union initiated negotiations, which turned out to be unsuccessful.  After several conciliation meetings, 5 out of 11 issues were resolved by the parties.  A partial CBA was executed.  The parties then entered into a Submission Agreement identifying the remaining issues for arbitration. In resolving the issues, the VA included the computer operators from the scope of the CBA and excluded the employees of the College of St. Benilde. Did the VA act properly in ruling as such?


A: Yes.  Computer operators were presently doing clerical and routinary work and had nothing to do with the setting of management policies for the university.  The access they have to information to the University’s operations are not necessarily confidential.   The express exclusion of the computer operators in the past does not pose a bar to re-negotiation for future inclusion of the said employees in the bargaining unit.  Also, as to the employees of the CSB, they were properly excluded at the two education institutions have their own separate juridical personality. Case Digest on De la Salle University v. De La Salle University Employees Association, G.R. No. 109002, April 12, 2000- Labor Law

Q: A received a letter calling to his attention his conduct during a Sales and Marketing Christmas gathering where she allegedly made utterances of obscene, insulting and offensive words towards the SPC’s Management Committee.  A was given two days to explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against him and he was thereafter placed on preventive suspension.  A replied stating that such utterances were only made in reference to a decision taken by the management committee on the Cua Lim Case and not to any specific person. A was thereafter informed in a letter that his employment was terminated.  Was A validly dismissed?


A: No. A’s dismissal was brought about by utterances made during an informal Christmas gathering.  For misconduct to warrant dismissal, it must be in connection with the employee’s work.  In this case, the alleged misconduct was neither in connection with employee’s work, as A’s utterances are not unusual in informal gatherings, neither was it of such serious and grave character.  Furthermore, A’s outburst was in reaction to the decision of the management in a certain case and was not intended to malign on the person of the respondent company’s president and general manager.  The company itself did not seem to consider the offense serious to warrant an immediate investigation.  It is also provided in the company’s rules and regulations that for conduct such as that of A, a first offense would only warrant a “verbal reminder” and not dismissal.  Case Digest on Samson v. NLRC, G.R. No.121035, April 12, 2000- Labor Law.


Q: X was employed by Company C as assistant mechanic.  X drove Company C’s truck to install a panel sign and accidentally sideswiped a ten year old girl whose injuries incurred hospitalization expenses of up to P19,534.45.  Such amount was not reimbursed by insurance as X had no driver’s license at the time of the accident; therefore Company C shouldered the expenses.  Company C conducted an investigation where X was given the opportunity to defend himself.  X was then dismissed for violating the company rules and regulation for blatant disregard of established control procedures resulting in company damages.  Was X validly dismissed?


A: Yes.  Although X contends that he was investigated simply for the offense of driving without a valid driver’s license, it was clear that he was fully aware that he was being investigated for his involvement in the vehicular accident.  It was also known to him that the accident caused the victim to suffer serious injuries leading to expenses which the insurance refused to cover.  Due process does not necessarily require a hearing, as long as one is given reasonable opportunity to be heard.  X’s actions clearly constituted willful disobedience.  Although generally, an employee who is dismissed for just cause is not entitled to any financial assistance, due to equity considerations as this was X’s first offense in 18 years of service, he is to be granted separation pay by way of financial assistance of ½ month’s pay for every year of service.


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