Case Digest: Salvaloza v. NLRC, Gulf Pacific & Quizon

G.R. No. 182086: November 24, 2010


Nachura, J.:


Gregorio filed a complaint against Gulf Pacific for illegal dismissal with claim for underpayment of wages, non-payment of overtime pay, holiday pay, premium pay for holiday and rest day, service incentive leave pay, 13th month pay, damages, and attorneys fees before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Gregorio contended that he was given only a monthly salary ofP4,000.00, way below the rate prescribed by the Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO), which was P13,000.00 toP14,000.00 per month. Gulf Pacific alleged that he failed to renew his license as a security guard. At the end of the proceeding, the Labor Arbiter ruled in favour of Gregorio. Gulf pacific appealed to the NLRC.

The NLRC reversed the LA, and the Court of Appeals likewise upholding the reversal. Thus, petitioner files the instant case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in holding that Gregorio was illegally dismissed.

HELD: The petition has partial merit.

LABOR LAW: Termination

In termination cases, the burden of proving just cause for dismissing an employee is on the employer.It contends that Gulf Pacific and Quizon failed to discharge this burden when they claimed that Gregorios employment was severed for his failure to renew his security guard license, for his alleged inefficiency at work, and for his submission of a spurious security guard license.

On this note, contrary to the posture of Gregorio, we hold that a security guard has the personal responsibility to obtain his license.Notwithstanding the practice of some security agencies to procure the licenses of their security guards for a fee, it remains the personal obligation of a security guard to ensure that he or she has a valid and subsisting license to be qualified and available for an assignment.Thus, when Gregorio was given the Memorandum dated August 2, 2001, directing him to complete his 201 file requirements, it meant that he had to submit each and every document to show his qualifications to work as a security guard, most important of which is his security guard license.Thus, his excuse that he was not informed that he already had an expired license and had to renew the same cannot be sustained.He should have known when his license was to expire.

LABOR LAW: Constructive dismissal

There is constructive dismissal if an act of clear discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes so unbearable on the part of the employee that it would foreclose any choice except to forego continued employment.It exists when there is cessation of work because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable, or unlikely, as an offer involving a demotion in rank and a diminution in pay.

Of the three instances when Gregorio was temporarily "off-detailed," we find that the last two already ripened into constructive dismissal.While we acknowledge that Gregorios service record shows that his performance as a security guard was below par, we join the LA in his finding that Gulf Pacific never issued any memo citing him for the alleged repeated errors, inefficiency, and poor performance while on duty, and instead continued to assign him to various posts.This amounts to condonation by Gulf Pacific of whatever infractions Gregorio may have committed.

PARTIALLY GRANTED. Separation pay, not reinstatement.