Jurisprudence on Househelper's Non-Household Work

RELEVANT CASES RE: ASSIGNMENT TO NON-HOUSEHOLD WORK: The following cases decided prior to R.A. No. 10361, are still relevant to this proscription in the law:
Apex Mining Company, Inc. v. NLRC (G.R. No. 94951; April 22, 1991)

In this case, the High Court held that a househelper in the staffhouses of an industrial company is considered a regular employee thereof. The mere fact that the househelper is working within the premises of the business of the employer and in relation to or in connection with its business, as in its staffhouses for its guest or even for its officers and employees, warrants the conclusion that such househelper is and should be considered as a regular employee of the employer and not as a mere family househelper or as contemplated in the law.
Remington Industrial Sales Corp. v. Castaneda (G.R. Nos. 169295-96; November 20, 2006)

The same ruling as in Apex was made in this case. Respondent worked at the company premises and her duty was to cook and prepare its employees’ lunch and merienda. Clearly, the situs as well as the nature of respondent’s work as a cook, who caters not only to the needs of Mr. Tan (Managing Director of petitioner) and his family but also to that of the petitioner’s employees, made her fall squarely within the definition of a regular employee under the doctrine enunciated in the Apex Mining case. That she works within company premises and that she does not cater exclusively to the personal comfort of Mr. Tan and his family, is reflective of the existence of the petitioner’s right of control over her functions, which is the primary indicator of the existence of an employer-employee relationship.

Barcenas v. NLRC (G.R. No. 87210; July 16, 1990)

In this case, private respondent contends that petitioner was not an employee but a servant at the Manila Buddhist Temple. The Supreme Court, however, disagreed. It held that petitioner was a regular employee thereof considering that the work that she performed in the temple could not be categorized as mere domestic work. Petitioner, being proficient in the Chinese language, attended to the visitors, mostly Chinese, who came to pray or seek advice before Buddha for personal or business problems; arranged meetings between these visitors and the Head Monk and supervised the preparation of the food for the temple visitors; acted as tourist guide of foreign visitors; acted as liaison with some government offices; and made the payment for the temple's Meralco, MWSS and PLDT bills. Indeed, these tasks may not be deemed activities of a household helper. They were essential and important to the operation and religious functions of the temple.

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