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Begino et al., vs ABS_CBN Corp.

o Their functions are necessary and desirable in

GR NO. 199166 | April 20, 2015 ABS-CBNs business;
Perez o Mandated to wear company ID;
Padpad | 10 o They were briefed on what news items to cover
the following day;
PETITONERS/PROSECUTORS: Nelson Begino, Gener Del Vlle, o Bound by company policy on attendance and
Monina Avila-Llorin and Ma. Christina Sumayao punctuality among others;
RESPONDENTS/DEFENDANTS: ABS-CBN and Amalia Villafuerte o They subjected to annual competency
TOPIC: o For emergency situations, they can be called at
Factors / Tests / Four Fold Test any time of the day;
o They should inform management if they would
CASE SUMMARY: not be able to follow the schedule;
Petitioners were hired as cameramen and editors for the daily news o They were hired based on the skills, knowledge,
program, TV Patrol Bicol, under talent contracts. Petitioners filed a and expertise they already possessed.
complaint against the respondent with the NLRC praying for their ABS-CBN is in the position that no such relationship exists
regularization, among others. The respondent denies having an because:
employer-employee relationship with the petitioners pursuant to the o Company cannot afford regular talents;
talent contract. However, the court ruled that the petitioners were o Hired based on the projects budget;
regular employees because the performances of their functions are o There is some degree of control BUT only to
reasonably connected with the business of the respondent. uphold the standards of the company;
o The petitioners can use the means and methods
TERMS: they see fit in the performance of their tasks;
Four Fold Test: During the pendency of the first complaint, the petitioners
o (a) the selection and engagement of the were terminated, hence they filed a second complaint
employee; against ABS-CBN for illegal dismissal.
o (b) the payment of wages; LA Quiones ruled in favor of the petitioners in the first
o (c) the power of dismissal; and complaint mainly because of the exclusivity clause and the
o (d) the employers power to control the employee Project Assignment forms, but dismissed the illegal
on the means and methods by which the work is dismissal complaint for it violated the rule on non-forum
accomplished shopping and that the resolution of the second complaint is
hinged on the resolution of the first complaint.
PRECEDENTS: The petitioners filed an appeal with the NLRC but failed to
NA certify the notice of appeal, but the NLRC upheld the LAs
decision. The CA however reversed the LAs decision on
FACTS: the first complaint because there was no finding of
Amalia Villafuerte is a Manager at ABS-CBN in Naga City. employer-employee relationship.
The company engaged the services of the petitioners as
cameramen and editors through her, for the daily news ISSUES:
program, TV Patrol Bicol. WON the notice of appeal filed by the petitioners at the
The petitioners were under Talent Contracts, which were NLRC level is valid
regularly renewed. This contract specifically states that WON there exists an employer-employee relationship
nothing in the terms should be construed to establish an between the petitioners and ABS-CBN
employer-employee relationship. Some of the terms were:
o 3 months to 1 year duration of such contract. RULING:
o Subjected to ABS-CBNs professional standards 1st issue: Yes
o Talents should not engage in similar work for o Procedural requirements can be relaxed in the
direct or indirect competitors of the corp. interest of substantial justice.
o The work is output based which does not require 2nd issue: Yes.
normal hours of work. o The existence of employer-employee relationship
o Subject to contractors tax. is a question of fact, however since the CA and
Project Assignment forms that detailed among others the NLRC decision are not the same, the SC will still
duration of the project as well as the budget and daily determine if such relationship exists.
technical requirements in their capacities as cameramen o Regardless of what is stated in the contract, the
and editors were also issued. petitioners are regular employees of the corp.
The petitioners claimed that they were regular employees The test to determine whether an employee is
and filed a complaint in the NLRC for their claims for regular or not is the reasonable connection
regularization, underpayment of overtime pay, holiday pay, between the activity performed by the
13th month pay, damages, and attorneys fees. (First employee in relation to the business or trade
complaint) of the employer.
According to the petitioners, they are regular employees o From their initial agreement, the respondent has
because: continuously rehired the petitioners.
o If the employee is performing the job for at
least one year, even if the performance is not
continuous, the law deems the repeated
performance as sufficient evidence of the
necessity of that activity in the business.
o Petitioners were subject to the control and
supervision of the respondents, which in the first
place provided them with their equipment.
o The SC did not decide on the second complaint
as it was still pending in the NLRC.

DISPOSITIVE: the CA decision is reversed and set aside

ART. 280. Regular and Casual Employment.The provisions of written
agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral
agreement of the parties, an employment shall be deemed to be regular
where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are
usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the
employer, except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project
or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined
at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or service
to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration
of the season.
An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the
preceding paragraph: Provided, That, any employee who has rendered at
least one year of service, whether such service is continuous or broken, shall
be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is
employed and his employment shall continue while such actually exists.