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Digest Author: Charles Rivera

**CA: The court pointed out that the policy was applied to men and women equally,
DUNCAN V. GLAXO and noted that the employer’s business was highly competitive and that gaining inside
G.R. No. 162994, September 17, 2004 information would constitute a competitive advantage

Petitioner/s: DUNCAN ASSOCIATION OF DETAILMAN – PTGWO


and PEDRO A. TECSON
Respondent/s: GLAXO WELLCOME PHILIPPINES, INC

DOCTRINE: EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE - is addressed only to the state


or those acting under color of its authority and it erects no shield against
merely private conduct.

EXCEPTION: only occurs when the state in any of its manifestations or actions has
been found to have become entwined or involved in the wrongful private conduct.

FACTS:
 Tecson was hired by Glaxo as medical representative.
 He signed a contract of employment which stipulates that he agrees to study
and abide the existing company rules, particularly, to disclose to management
any existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with co-
employees or employees of competing drug companies and should
management find that such relationship poses a possible conflict of interest,
to resign from the company.
 Tecson married Bettsy, an employee of Astra, competitor company of Glaxo
 Tecson’s superiors informed him that his marriage to Bettsy gave rise to a
conflict of interest. They reminded him that both of them should decide which
one of them would resign from their jobs, though they told him to stay because
of his performance in the company.

ISSUE/S: WON the Glaxo’s Policy violates the equal protection clause of the
constitution.

RULING+RATIO:

No. The constitution provides that the equal protection clause is addressed
only to the state or those acting under color of its authority and erects no shield against
merely private conduct. The exception only occurs when the state in any of its
manifestations or actions has been found to have become entwined or involved in the
wrongful private conduct.

The exception is not present in this case, the company enforced the policy
after repeated requests to the employee to comply with the policy. Glaxo does not
impose an absolute prohibition against the relationship between its employees and
those of competitor companies. The company only wants to avoid is a conflict of
interest between the employee and company that may arise on such relationship.