Law on regular employment NOT applicable to trilateral ("contractual") relationship

The Court agrees with Purefoods' argument that Art. 280 of the Labor Code finds no application in a trilateral relationship involving a principal, an independent job contractor, and the latter's employees. Indeed, the Court has ruled that said provision is not the yardstick for determining the existence of an employment relationship because it merely distinguishes between two kinds of employees, i.e., regular employees and casual employees, for purposes of determining the right of an employee to certain benefits, to join or form a union, or to security of tenure; it does not apply where the existence of an employment relationship is in dispute. (G.R. No. 172241, November 20, 2008; G.R. No. 120466, May 17, 1999)

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