Cruel, repressive, or despotic exercise of management prerogatives

A company's exercise of its management prerogatives is not absolute. It cannot exercise its prerogative in a cruel, repressive, or despotic manner. The Supreme Court held in F.F. Marine Corp. v. NLRC:

This Court is not oblivious of the significant role played by the corporate sector in the country's economic and social progress. Implicit in turn in the success of the corporate form in doing business is the ethos of business autonomy which allows freedom of business determination with minimal governmental intrusion to ensure economic independence and development in terms defined by businessmen. Yet, this vast expanse of management choices cannot be an unbridled prerogative that can rise above the constitutional protection to labor. Employment is not merely a lifestyle choice to stave off boredom. Employment to the common man is his very life and blood, which must be protected against concocted causes to legitimize an otherwise irregular termination of employment. Imagined or undocumented business losses present the least propitious scenario to justify retrenchment. (G.R. No. 173231; December 28, 2007)