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Arco Metal Products vs.

Arco Metal Products vs. SAMARM-NAFLU G.R. No. 170734 May 14, 2008 Facts: Petitioner is a company engaged in the manufacture of metal products, whereas respondent is the labor union of petitioners rank and file employees. Sometime in December 2003, petitioner paid the 13th month pay, bonus, and leave encashment of three union members in amounts proportional to the service they actually rendered in a year, which is less than a full twelve (12) months. The employees were Rante Lamadrid, Alberto Gamban, and Rodelio Collantes. Respondent protested the prorated scheme, claiming that on several occasions petitioner did not prorate the payment of the same benefits to seven (7) employees who had not served for the full 12 months. The payments were made in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2003, and 2004. According to respondent, the prorated payment violates the rule against diminution of benefits under Article 100 of the Labor Code. Thus, they filed a complaint before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB). The parties submitted the case for voluntary arbitration. The voluntary arbitrator, Apron M. Mangabat, ruled in favor of the petitioner. Issue/s: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that the grant of 13th month pay, bonus, and leave encashment in full regardless of actual service rendered constitutes voluntary employer practice and, consequently, the prorated payment of the said benefits does not constitute diminution of benefits under Article 100 of the Labor Code. Whether the intent of the CBA provisions is to grant full benefits regardless of service actually rendered by an employee to the company. Held: IN VIEW HEREOF, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 85089 dated 29 September 2005 is and its Resolution dated 9 December 2005 are hereby AFFIRMED. Ratio Decidendi: The Petition fails. In cases involving money claims of employees, the employer has the burden of proving that the employees did receive the wages and benefits and that the same were paid in accordance with law. Indeed, if petitioner wants to prove that it merely erred in giving full benefits, it could have easily presented other proofs, such as the names of other employees who did not fully serve for one year and thus were given prorated benefits. Experientially, a perfect attendance in the workplace is always the goal but it is seldom achieved. There must have been other employees who had reported for work less than a full year and who, as a consequence received only prorated benefits. This could have easily bolstered petitioners theory of mistake/error, but sadly, no evidence to that effect was presented. Posted by Paula Marie Valles at 11/21/2010 10:32:00 PM 0 comments Labels: labor law

Magallanes vs. Sun Yat Sen

Magallanes vs. Sun Yat Sen G.R. No. 160876 January 18, 2008

Facts: Azucena Magallanes, Evelyn Bacolod, Judith Cotecson (represented by her heirs), petitioners, Grace Gonzales, and Bella Gonzales were all employed as teachers in the Sun Yat Sen Elementary School in Surigao City. Paz Go and Elena Cubillan are principals of the said school. Willy Ang Gan Teng and Benito Ang are its directors, while Teotimo Tan is the school treasurer. They are all respondents herein. On May 22, 1994, respondents terminated the services of petitioners. Thus, on August 3, 1994, they filed with the Sub-Regional Arbitration Branch No. X, National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Butuan City, complaints against respondents for illegal dismissal, underpayment of wages, payment of backwages, 13th month pay, ECOLA, separation pay, moral damages, and attorneys fees. Likewise, on August 22, 1994, petitioner Cotecson filed a separate complaint praying for the same reliefs. Issue: (1) whether the Court of Appeals (Seventh Division) erred in holding that affixing a wrong docket number on a motion renders it "non-existent;" and (2) whether the issuance by the NLRC of the Order dated March 30, 2001, amending the amounts of separation pay and backwages, awarded by the Court of Appeals (Sixteenth Division) to petitioners and computed by the Labor Arbiter, is tantamount to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Held: WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. The challenged Resolutions dated October 29, 2001, May 8, 2003, and October 10, 2003 in CA-G.R. SP No. 67068 are REVERSED. The Order of the NLRC dated March 30, 2001 in NLRC Case No. M-006176-2001 is SET ASIDE. The Order of the Labor Arbiter dated January 8, 2001 is REINSTATED. Ratio Decidendi: 1. Court of Appeals (Seventh Division) is correct when it ruled that petitioners motion for reconsideration of its Resolution dated October 29, 2001 in CA-G.R. SP No. 67068 is "non-existent." Petitioners counsel placed a wrong case number in their motion. Where a pleading bears an erroneous docket number and thus "could not be attached to the correct case," the said pleading is, for all intents and purposes, "non-existent." It has neither the duty nor the obligation to correct the error or to transfer the case to the Seventh Division. However, we opt for liberality in the application of the rules to the instant case in light of the following considerations. First, the rule that negligence of counsel binds the client may be relaxed where adherence thereto would result in outright deprivation of the clients liberty or property or where the interests of justice so require. Second, this Court is not a slave of technical rules, shorn of judicial discretion in rendering justice; it is guided by the norm that on the balance, technicalities take a backseat against substantive rights. Thus, if the application of the rules would tend to frustrate rather than promote justice, it is always within this Courts power to suspend the rules or except a particular case from its application. 2. We sustain petitioners contention that the NLRC, in modifying the award of the Court of Appeals, committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Quasi-judicial agencies have neither business nor power to modify or amend the final and executory Decisions of the appellate courts. Under the principle of immutability of judgments, any alteration or amendment which substantially affects a final and executory judgment is void for lack of jurisdiction.8 We thus rule that the Order dated March 30, 2001 of the NLRC directing that the monetary award should be computed from June 1994, the date petitioners were dismissed from the service, up to June 20, 1995 only, is void.

Posted by Paula Marie Valles at 11/21/2010 10:28:00 PM 0 comments Labels: labor law

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Return

ATTY. KhUn WA ReH is now back in Law School!!! Please watch out for my upcoming posts!!!