Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW

Duncan Assoc. of Detailman-PTGWO vs. Glaxo Wellcome Phils., Inc.


G.R. No. 162944 September 17, 2004

FACTS:

Tecson was hired by Glaxo as a medical representative on Oct. 24, 1995. Contract of
employment signed by Tecson stipulates, among others, that he agrees to study and abide by the
existing company rules; to disclose to management any existing future relationship by consanguinity or
affinity with co-employees or employees with competing drug companies and should management find
that such relationship poses a prossible conflict of interest, to resign from the company. Company's
Code of Employee Conduct provides the same with stipulation that management may transfer the
employee to another department in a non-counterchecking position or preparation for employment
outside of the company after 6 months.

Tecson was initially assigned to market Glaxo's products in the Camarines Sur-Camarines
Norte area and entered into a romantic relationship with Betsy, an employee of Astra, Glaxo's
competition. Before getting married, Tecson's District Manager reminded him several times of the
conflict of interest but marriage took place in Sept. 1998. In Jan. 1999, Tecson's superiors informed him
of conflict of intrest. Tecson asked for time to comply with the condition (that either he or Betsy resign
from their respective positions). Unable to comply with condition, Glaxo transferred Tecson to the
Butuan-Surigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area. After his request against transfer was denied, Tecson
brought the matter to Glaxo's Grievance Committee and while pending, he continued to act as medical
representative in the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area. On Nov. 15, 2000, the National
Conciliation and Mediation Board ruled that Glaxo's policy was valid.

ISSUE:

WON the policy of a pharmaceutical company prohibiting its employees from marrying
employees of any competitor company is valid.

HELD:

Glaxo has a right to guard its trade secrets, manufacturing formulas, marketing strategies,
and other confidential programs and information from competitors. The prohibition against pesonal or
marital relationships with employees of competitor companies upon Glaxo's employees is reasonable
under the circumstances because relationships of that nature might compromise the interests of the
company. That Glaxo possesses the right to protect its economic interest cannot be denied.

It is the settled principle that the commands of the equal protection clause are addressed
only to the state or those acting under color of its authority. Corollarily, it has been held in a long array of
US Supreme Court decisions that the equal protection clause erects to shield against merely privately
conduct, however, discriminatory or wrongful. The company actually enforced the policy after repeated
requests to the employee to comply with the policy. Indeed the application of the policy was made in an
impartial and even-handed manner, with due regard for the lot of the employee.

The challenged policy has been implemented by Glaxo impartially and disinterestedly for a
long period of time. In the case at bar, the record shows that Glaxo gave Tecson several chances to
eliminate the conflict of interest brought about by his relationship with Betsy, but he never availed of any
of them.
RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW
ARMANDO G. YRASUEGUI V PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.
G.R. No. 168081, October 17, 2008

FACTS:
Petitioner was a former international flight steward of Philippine Airlines,
herein respondent. Petitioner was dismissed because of his failure to adhere to the weight standards of
the airline company. Petitioner was formally informed by PAL that due to his inability to attain his ideal
weight, and considering the utmost leniency extended to him which spanned a period covering a total
of almost five (5) years, his services were considered terminated effective immediately. Petitioner
claims that he was illegally dismissed. The Labor Arbiter held that the weight standards of PAL are
reasonable in view of the nature of the job of petitioner. However, the weight standards need not be
complied with under pain of dismissal since his weight did not hamper the performance of his duties and
the NLRC affirmed. The CA held that the weight standards of PAL are reasonable. Thus, petitioner was
legally dismissed because he repeatedly failed to meet the prescribed weight standards. It is obvious
that the issue of discrimination was only invoked by petitioner for purposes of escaping the result of his
dismissal for being overweight.

ISSUE: WON he was validly dismissed.

HELD:

YES. A reading of the weight standards of PAL would lead to no other conclusion than that they
constitute a continuing qualification of an employee in order to keep the job. The dismissal of the
employee would thus fall under Article 282(e) of the Labor Code. In the case at bar, the evidence on
record militates against petitioners claims that obesity is a disease. That he was able to reduce his
weight from 1984 to 1992 clearly shows that it is possible for him to lose weight given the proper
attitude, determination, and self-discipline. Indeed, during the clarificatory hearing on December 8, 1992,
petitioner himself claimed that [t]he issue is could I bring my weight down to ideal weight which is 172,
then the answer is yes. I can do it now.
Petitioner has only himself to blame. He could have easily availed the assistance of the company
physician, per the advice of PAL.
In fine, We hold that the obesity of petitioner, when placed in the context of his work as flight
attendant, becomes an analogous cause under Article 282(e) of the Labor Code that justifies his
dismissal from the service. His obesity may not be unintended, but is nonetheless voluntary. As the CA
correctly puts it, [v]oluntariness basically means that the just cause is solely attributable to the
employee without any external force influencing or controlling his actions. This element runs through all
just causes under Article 282, whether they be in the nature of a wrongful action or omission. Gross and
habitual neglect, a recognized just cause, is considered voluntary although it lacks the element of intent
found in Article 282(a), (c), and (d).
The dismissal of petitioner can be predicated on the bona fide occupational qualification defense.
Employment in particular jobs may not be limited to persons of a particular sex, religion, or national
origin unless the employer can show that sex, religion, or national origin is an actual qualification for
performing the job. The qualification is called a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). In short, the
test of reasonableness of the company policy is used because it is parallel to BFOQ. BFOQ is valid
provided it reflects an inherent quality reasonably necessary for satisfactory job performance. The
business of PAL is air transportation. As such, it has committed itself to safely transport its passengers.
In order to achieve this, it must necessarily rely on its employees, most particularly the cabin flight deck
crew who are on board the aircraft. The weight standards of PAL should be viewed as imposing strict
norms of discipline upon its employees. The primary objective of PAL in the imposition of the weight
standards for cabin crew is flight safety.
Separation pay, however, should be awarded in favor of the employee as an act of social justice
or based on equity. This is so because his dismissal is not for serious misconduct. Neither is it reflective
of his moral character.