CASE DIGEST: PLDT v. PLDT Workers Union (G.R. No. L-4157)

CASE DIGEST: [ G.R. No. L-4157, July 08, 1952 ] PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, PETITIONER, VS. PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE WORKERS UNION (CLO) AND JUAN L. LANTING, JOSE S. BAUTISTA, AND V. JIMENEZ YAMSON, JUDGES OF THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, RESPONDENTS.

FACTS: When L, a blind man was hired, his employers knew of his physical defect. For many years, he did his work efficiently. Later, the company dismissed him on account of his blindness, as recommended by the company physician, alleging it was dangerous for him to work (in the streets) because he might be struck down by passing vehicles.

ISSUE: Was the dismissal proper?

HELD: No. While an employer can ordinarily choose and fire employees without interference, this right should not be abused or exercised capriciously, with reference to a worker who has worked faithfully and satisfactorily with a defect visible and known; for otherwise in future similar cases the exercise of such right might be abused and used as a disguise for dismissing an employee for union adherence.

NOTE: Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines was not yet in effect when this decision was promulgated. READ: 23 BASIC RULES RE: TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT. 

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