Case Digest: Jones International v. Agcaoili-Barit

G.R. NO. 181919: July 20, 2011

JONES INTERNATIONAL MANPOWER SERVICES, INC., represented by its President, EDWARD G. CUE, Petitioner, v. BELLA AGCAOILI-BARIT, Respondent.



Bella Agcaoili-Barit (Barit) ware hired by Jones Manpower Services, Inc. (agency) under a two-year employment contract as a domestic helper for it foreign principal Mohamad Hameed Al-Naima (Hameed). While Barit was promised a monthly salary of US$200 in her contract, she only received half that amount from 1999 until 2001, and failed to receive any salary at all starting July 2001. Her contract was extended to another 10 months. Barit later left her employer to live with her Filipino boyfriend on May 2002 as Hameed still refused to pay her. She was arrested and imprisoned for more that a year since the laws of Saudi Arabia prohibited such a relationship. After she embraced the Islamic faith,Barit was released and returned to the Philippines.

Barit filed a case for non-payment of salaries and refund of transportation fare against the agency with the NLRC.

The Labor Arbiter held for Barit. On appeal, the NLRC dismissed the case and said it did not believe that she would continue to work for her employer for another 10 months when she had not been paid her salary. When the case was raised to the CA, the Court reversed and held Barit was entitled to the unpaid salaries as Hameed had failed to prove that he paid Barit the amounts due her.


Whether or not the agency is liable for non-payment of Barit salary.


LABOR LAW: substantial proof

Substantial basis exists to believe that Barit received her full salaries for the entire duration of her original contract, or from July 23, 1999 to July 23, 2001. The NLRC further opined that to make the agency liable for Barit alleged unpaid and underpaid wages on the sole ground that it failed to submit copies of payslips and payrolls is unfair as the agency a appears to have taken all available means to secure the necessary documents from Barit employer to disputeherclaims.

The argument that absent the payslips or payrolls, the agency failed to present proof of payment of Barit claim should be viewed in the context of the realities of domestic service. The relationship between Hameed and Barit was not as structured as the relationship obtaining in an office or in an industrial plant.There was very little or no paperwork at all, even on wage payments.

Petition is GRANTED.