Law on Employee's Abandonment of Work


Abandonment of work, or the deliberate and unjustified refusal of an employee to resume his employment, is a just cause for the termination of employment under paragraph (b) of Article 282 of the Labor Code, since it constitutes neglect of duty. The jurisprudential rule is that abandonment is a matter of intention that cannot be lightly presumed from equivocal acts. To constitute abandonment, two elements must concur: (1) the failure to report for work or absence without valid or justifiable reason, and (2) a clear intent, manifested through overt acts, to sever the employer-employee relationship. The employer bears the burden of showing a deliberate and unjustified refusal by the employee to resume his employment without any intention of returning. (G.R. No. 177664)

Dismissal from employment on the ground of abandonment is legal and valid if it is shown that there is a clear and deliberate intent on the part of the employee to discontinue his employment without any intention of returning back to work. The employee's deliberate unjustified refusal to continue his employment must be clearly evidenced by overt acts unerringly pointing to the fact that the employee simply does not want to work anymore. (G.R. No. L-76991)

Abandonment, as a just and valid ground for termination, means the deliberate, unjustified refusal of an employee to resume his employment. The burden of proof is on the employer to show a clear and deliberate intent on the part of the employee to discontinue employment. The intent cannot be lightly inferred or legally presumed from certain equivocal acts. For abandonment to be a valid ground for dismissal, two (2) elements must be proved: the intention of an employee to abandon, coupled with an overt act from which it may be inferred that the employee has no more intent to resume his work. (G.R. No. 126688)

Gross and habitual neglect of duty by the employee of his duties is a just cause for the termination of the latter's employment. To warrant removal from service, however, the negligence should not merely be gross but also habitual. (G.R. No. 150171)
The charge of drug abuse inside the company's premises and during working hours against petitioner constitutes serious misconduct, which is one of the just causes for termination. Misconduct is improper or wrong conduct. It is the transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character, and implies wrongful intent and not merely an error in judgment. The misconduct to be serious within the meaning of the Act must be of such a grave and aggravated character and not merely trivial or unimportant. Such misconduct, however serious, must nevertheless, in connection with the work of the employee, constitute just cause for his separation. (G.R. No. 173151)

The mere fact that petitioner failed to report for work right after the end of his vacation leave is not enough reason to conclude that he had decided to abandon his work. Besides, settled is the rule that the mere absence or failure to report for work does not amount to abandonment. (G.R. No. 168931)

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