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, WITH THE SC: petitioner argues that the National Labor Relations
INC.), Petitioner, Commission (NLRC), and not the DOLE Secretary, has jurisdiction over
vs. respondent’s claim, in view of Articles 217 and 128 of the Labor Code.
EMPLOYMENT, THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, DOLE REGION VII, did not abuse its discretion. He invokes Republic Act No. 7730, which
and JANDELEON JUEZAN, Respondents. “removes the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his
FACTS: The instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 assails the decision duly authorized representatives, from the effects of the restrictive provisions
and the resolution of the Court of Appeals. of Article 129 and 217 of the Labor Code, regarding the confinement of
The petition traces its origins to a complaint filed by Jandeleon Juezan jurisdiction based on the amount of claims.”; and wrong mode of appeal.
(respondent) against People’s Broadcasting Service, Inc. (Bombo Radyo
Phils., Inc) (petitioner) for illegal deduction, non-payment of service ISSUE: WON the Secretary of Labor have the power to determine the
incentive leave, 13th month pay, premium pay for holiday and rest day and existence of an employer-employee relationship.
illegal diminution of benefits, delayed payment of wages and non-coverage
of SSS, PAG-IBIG and Philhealth (non-diminution of benefits in the amount
allegedly 6K) before the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE)Regional Office No. VII, Cebu City.2 On the basis of the complaint, HELD: No To resolve this pivotal issue, one must look into the extent of the
the DOLE conducted a plant level inspection on 23 September 2003. Labor visitorial and enforcement power of the DOLE found in Article 128 (b) of the
Inspector wrote under the heading “Findings/Recommendations” “non- Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act 7730. It reads:
diminution of benefits” and “Note: Respondent deny employer-employee
relationship with the complainant- see Notice of Inspection results.” Article 128 (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 129 and 217 of
PETITIONER’S POSITION: Management representative informed that this Code to the contrary, and in cases where the relationship of employer-
complainant is a drama talent hired on a per drama ” participation basis” employee still exists, the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his duly
hence no employer-employeeship [sic] existed between them. As proof of authorized representatives shall have the power to issue compliance orders to
this, management presented photocopies of cash vouchers, billing statement, give effect to the labor standards provisions of this Code and other labor
employments of specific undertaking (a contract between the talent director legislation based on the findings of labor employment and enforcement
& the complainant), summary of billing of drama production etc. They (mgt.) officers or industrial safety engineers made in the course of inspection xxx
has [sic] not control of the talent if he ventures into another contract w/ other The provision is quite explicit that the visitorial and enforcement power
broadcasting industries. of the DOLE comes into play only “in cases when the relationship of
RULING OF DOLE REGIONAL DIRECTOR: respondent is an employee of employer-employee still exists.” Of course, a person’s entitlement to labor
petitioner, and that the former is entitled to his money claims amounting standard benefits under the labor laws presupposes the existence of
toP203,726.30. MR denied; Appeal with the DOLE Secretary, dismissed the employer-employee relationship in the first place.The clause signifies that
appeal on the ground that petitioner did not post a cash or surety bond and the employer-employee relationship must have existed even before the
instead submitted a Deed of Assignment of Bank Deposit. emergence of the controversy. Necessarily, the DOLE’s power does not
APPEAL WITH THE CA: claiming that it was denied due process when the apply in two instances, namely: (a) where the employer-employee
DOLE Secretary disregarded the evidence it presented and failed to give it relationship has ceased; and (b) where no such relationship has ever
the opportunity to refute the claims of respondent. Petitioner maintained that existed.
there is no employer-employee relationship had ever existed between it and The first situation is categorically covered by Sec. 3, Rule 11 of the Rules on
respondent because it was the drama directors and producers who paid, the Disposition of Labor Standards Cases15 issued by the DOLE Secretary.
supervised and disciplined respondent. It also added that the case was It reads:
beyond the jurisdiction of the DOLE and should have been considered by Rule II MONEY CLAIMS ARISING FROM COMPLAINT/ROUTINE
the labor arbiter because respondent’s claim exceeded P5,000.00. CA denied. INSPECTION
Sec. 3. Complaints where no employer-employee relationship actually exists. prudent recourse on the part of the DOLE should have been to refer
Where employer-employee relationship no longer exists by reason of the fact respondent to the NLRC for the proper dispensation of his
that it has already been severed, claims for payment of monetary benefits fall claims.Furthermore, as discussed earlier, even the evidence relied on by the
within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the labor Regional Director in his order are mere self-serving declarations of
arbiters. Accordingly, if on the face of the complaint, it can be respondent, and hence cannot be relied upon as proof of employer-employee
ascertained that employer-employee relationship no longer exists, the relationship.
case, whether accompanied by an allegation of illegal dismissal, shall Petition GRANTED.
immediately be endorsed by the Regional Director to the appropriate
branch of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
Clearly the law accords a prerogative to the NLRC over the claim when the Other Issues (Just in case it will be asked, mahaba2 ung case)
employer-employee relationship has terminated or such relationship has not
arisen at all. The reason is obvious. In the second situation especially, the  Aside from lack of jurisdiction, there is another cogent reason to to set
existence of an employer-employee relationship is a matter which is not aside the Regional Director’s 27 February 2004 Order. A careful study
easily determinable from an ordinary inspection, necessarily so, because the of the case reveals that the said Order, which found respondent as an
elements of such a relationship are not verifiable from a mere ocular employee of petitioner and directed the payment of respondent’s money
examination. The determination of which should be comprehensive and claims, is not supported by substantial evidence, and was even made in
intensive and therefore best left to the specialized quasi-judicial body disregard of the evidence on record.
that is the NLRC.  Even if the labor inspector had noted petitioner’s manifestation and
It can be assumed that the DOLE in the exercise of its visitorial and documents in the Notice of Inspection Results, it is clear that he did not
enforcement power somehow has to make a determination of the existence of give much credence to said evidence, as he did not find the need to
an employer-employee relationship. Such prerogatival determination, investigate the matter further. The labor inspector could have exerted a
however, cannot be coextensive with the visitorial and enforcement power bit more effort and looked into petitioner’s payroll, for example, or its
itself. Indeed, such determination is merely preliminary, incidental and roll of employees, or interviewed other employees in the premises.
collateral to the DOLE’s primary function of enforcing labor standards  The Court further examined the records and discovered to its dismay that
provisions. The determination of the existence of employer-employee even the Regional Director turned a blind eye to the evidence presented
relationship is still primarily lodged with the NLRC. by petitioner and relied instead on the self-serving claims of respondent.
Thus, before the DOLE may exercise its powers under Article 128, two REPONDENT’S CLAIM IN HIS POSITION PAPER: hired by petitioner in
important questions must be resolved: (1) Does the employer-employee September 1996 as a radio talent/spinner, working from 8:00 am until 5 p.m.,
relationship still exist, or alternatively, was there ever an employer-employee six days a week, on a gross rate of P60.00 per script, earning an average
relationship to speak of; and (2) Are there violations of the Labor Code or of of P15,0000.00 per month, payable on a semi-monthly basis xxx In support
any labor law? of his position paper, respondent attached a photocopy of an identification
A mere assertion of absence of employer-employee relationship does not card purportedly issued by petitioner, bearing respondent’s picture and name
deprive the DOLE of jurisdiction over the claim under Article 128 of the with the designation “Spinner”; at the back of the I.D., the following is
Labor Code. At least a prima facie showing of such absence of relationship, written: ” This certifies that the card holder is a duly Authorized MEDIA
as in this case, is needed to preclude the DOLE from the exercise of its Representative of BOMBO RADYO PHILIPPINES …
power. Certificates were also submitted by respondent to support his claim.
Without a doubt, petitioner, since the inception of this case had been EXISTENCE OF EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE
consistent in maintaining that respondent is not its employee. Certainly, RELATIONSHIP: Furthermore, respondent’s pieces of evidence—the
a preliminary determination, based on the evidence offered, and noted identification card and the certification issued by petitioner’s Greman
by the Labor Inspector during the inspection as well as submitted during Solante— are not even determinative of an employer-employee relationship.
the proceedings before the Regional Director puts in genuine doubt the The certification, issued upon the request of respondent, specifically stated
existence of employer-employee relationship. From that point on, the that “MR. JANDELEON JUEZAN is a program employee of PEOPLE’S
BROADCASTING SERVICES, INC. (DYMF- Bombo Radyo Cebu),” it is process, but so also where other special circumstances warrant immediate
not therefore “crystal clear that complainant is a station employee rather than and more direct action. After all, this Court has previously ruled that the
a program employee hence entitled to all the benefits appurtenant extraordinary writ of certiorari will lie if it is satisfactorily1avvphiestablished
thereto,”26 as found by the DOLE Regional Director. Respondent should be that the tribunal had acted capriciously and whimsically in total disregard of
bound by his own evidence. Moreover, the classification as to whether one is evidence material to or even decisive of the controversy
a “station employee” and “program employee,” as lifted from Policy
Instruction No. 40,27 dividing the workers in the broadcast industry into only
two groups is not binding on this Court, especially when the classification CASE DIGEST: ZIALCITA V. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. (Case
has no basis either in law or in fact.28 No. RO4-3-3398-76; February 20, 1977)
Even the identification card purportedly issued by petitioner is not proof of
employer-employee relationship since it only identified respondent as an FACTS: Zialcita is a stewardess of PAL. She was fired from work because
“Authorized Representative of Bombo Radyo…,” and not as an employee. she had gotten married. PAL argued and cited its policy that stewardesses
SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE: It has long been established that in must be single. The policy also states that subsequent marriage of a
administrative and quasi-judicial proceedings, substantial evidence is
stewardess shall automatically terminate employment.
sufficient as a basis for judgment on the existence of employer-employee
relationship. Substantial evidence, which is the quantum of proof required in
labor cases, is “that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind Zialcita anchored on Article 136 of the Labor Code. PAL sought refuge from
might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.” Article 132.
 In the instant case, save for respondent’s self-serving allegations and
self-defeating evidence, there is no substantial basis to warrant the Article 132 provides, "Article 132. Facilities for women. The Secretary of
Regional Director’s finding that respondent is an employee of petitioner.
Labor and Employment shall establish standards that will ensure the safety
RE APPEAL BOND: The purpose of an appeal bond is to ensure, during the
period of appeal, against any occurrence that would defeat or diminish and health of women employees. In appropriate cases, he shall, by
recovery by the aggrieved employees under the judgment if subsequently regulations, require any employer to: To determine appropriate minimum age
affirmed.40 The Deed of Assignment in the instant case, like a cash or surety and other standards for retirement or termination in special occupations such
bond, serves the same purpose. First, the Deed of Assignment constitutes not as those of flight attendants and the like."
just a partial amount, but rather the entire award in the appealed Order.
Second, it is clear from the Deed of Assignment that the entire amount is Article 136 provides, "Article 136. Stipulation against marriage. It shall be
under the full control of the bank, and not of petitioner, and is in fact payable
unlawful for an employer to require as a condition of employment or
to the DOLE Regional Office, to be withdrawn by the same office after it had
issued a writ of execution. For all intents and purposes, the Deed of continuation of employment that a woman employee shall not get married, or
Assignment in tandem with the Letter Agreement and Cash Voucher is as to stipulate expressly or tacitly that upon getting married, a woman employee
good as cash. Third, the Court finds that the execution of the Deed of shall be deemed resigned or separated, or to actually dismiss, discharge,
Assignment, the Letter Agreement and the Cash Voucher were made in good discriminate or otherwise prejudice a woman employee merely by reason of
faith, and constituted clear manifestation of petitioner’s willingness to pay her marriage."
the judgment amount.
MODE OF APPEAL: it is settled, as a general proposition, that the
availability of an appeal does not foreclose recourse to the extraordinary ISSUE:
remedies, such as certiorari and prohibition, where appeal is not adequate or
equally beneficial, speedy and sufficient xxx Was Zialcita's termination proper?
This Court has even recognized that a recourse to certiorari is proper not only
where there is a clear deprivation of petitioner’s fundamental right to due
HELD: The termination was improper. First of all, during the time Zialcita operations. Neither did petitioners explain how this detriment will happen in
was terminated, no regulation had yet been issued by the Secretary of Labor the case of Wilfreda Comia, then a Production Helper in the Selecting
to implement Article 132. Second, even assuming that the Secretary of Labor Department, who married Howard Comia, then a helper in the cutter-
machine. The policy is premised on the mere fear that employees married to
had already issued such a regulation and to the effect that stewardesses
each other will be less efficient. If we uphold the questioned rule without
should remain single, such would be in violation of Article 136 of the Labor valid justification, the employer can create policies based on an unproven
Code. presumption of a perceived danger at the expense of an employee’s right to
security of tenure.
Article 136's protection of women is broader and more powerful than the
regulation provided under Article 132. Petitioners contend that their policy will apply only when one employee
marries a co-employee, but they are free to marry persons other than co-
Star Paper Corporation vs. Simbol employees. The questioned policy may not facially violate Article 136 of the
487 SCRA 228 Labor Code but it creates a disproportionate effect and under the disparate
impact theory, the only way it could pass judicial scrutiny is a showing that it
FACTS: Petitioner was the employer of the respondents. Under the policy of is reasonable despite the discriminatory, albeit disproportionate, effect. The
Star Paper the employees are: failure of petitioners to prove a legitimate business concern in imposing the
questioned policy cannot prejudice the employee’s right to be free from
1. New applicants will not be allowed to be hired if in case he/she has a arbitrary discrimination based upon stereotypes of married persons working
relative, up to the 3rd degree of relationship, already employed by the together in one company.
Lastly, the absence of a statute expressly prohibiting marital discrimination
2. In case of two of our employees (singles, one male and another female) in our jurisdiction cannot benefit the petitioners. The protection given to
developed a friendly relationship during the course of their employment and labor in our jurisdiction is vast and extensive that we cannot prudently draw
then decided to get married, one of them should resign to preserve the policy inferences from the legislature’s silence that married persons are not
stated above. protected under our Constitution and declare valid a policy based on a
prejudice or stereotype. Thus, for failure of petitioners to present undisputed
Respondents Comia and Simbol both got married to their fellow employees. proof of a reasonable business necessity, we rule that the questioned policy is
Estrella on the other hand had a relationship with a co-employee resulting to an invalid exercise of management prerogative. Corollary, the issue as to
her pregnancy on the belief that such was separated. The respondents allege whether respondents Simbol and Comia resigned voluntarily has become
that they were forced to resign as a result of the implementation of the said moot and academic.
assailed company policy.
The Labor Arbiter and the NLRC ruled in favor of petitioner. The decision In the case of Estrella, the petitioner failed to adduce proof to justify her
was appealed to the Court of Appeals which reversed the decision. dismissal. Hence, the Court ruled that it was illegal.

ISSUE: Whether the prohibition to marry in the contract of employment is Petition was denied.

HELD: It is significant to note that in the case at bar, respondents were hired
after they were found fit for the job, but were asked to resign when they
married a co-employee. Petitioners failed to show how the marriage of
Simbol, then a Sheeting Machine Operator, to Alma Dayrit, then an
employee of the Repacking Section, could be detrimental to its business
G.R. No. 94951 April 22, 1991 1 Salary
Differential –– P16,289.20
APEX MINING COMPANY, INC., petitioner, 2. Emergency Living
vs. Allowance –– 12,430.00
CANDIDO, respondents. Differential –– 1,322.32
4. Separation Pay
Bernabe B. Alabastro for petitioner. (One-month for
Angel Fernandez for private respondent. every year of
service [1973-19881) –– 25,119.30
Is the househelper in the staff houses of an industrial company a domestic SIXTY ONE PESOS AND 42/100 (P55,161.42).
helper or a regular employee of the said firm? This is the novel issue raised SO ORDERED.1
in this petition. Not satisfied therewith, petitioner appealed to the public respondent National
Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), wherein in due course a decision was
Private respondent Sinclita Candida was employed by petitioner Apex rendered by the Fifth Division thereof on July 20, 1989 dismissing the appeal
Mining Company, Inc. on May 18, 1973 to perform laundry services at its for lack of merit and affirming the appealed decision. A motion for
staff house located at Masara, Maco, Davao del Norte. In the beginning, she reconsideration thereof was denied in a resolution of the NLRC dated June
was paid on a piece rate basis. However, on January 17, 1982, she was paid 29, 1990.
on a monthly basis at P250.00 a month which was ultimately increased to
P575.00 a month. Hence, the herein petition for review by certiorari, which appopriately
should be a special civil action for certiorari, and which in the interest of
On December 18, 1987, while she was attending to her assigned task and she justice, is hereby treated as such.2 The main thrust of the petition is that
was hanging her laundry, she accidentally slipped and hit her back on a private respondent should be treated as a mere househelper or domestic
stone. She reported the accident to her immediate supervisor Mila de la Rosa servant and not as a regular employee of petitioner.
and to the personnel officer, Florendo D. Asirit. As a result of the accident
she was not able to continue with her work. She was permitted to go on leave The petition is devoid of merit.
for medication. De la Rosa offered her the amount of P 2,000.00 which was
eventually increased to P5,000.00 to persuade her to quit her job, but she Under Rule XIII, Section l(b), Book 3 of the Labor Code, as amended, the
refused the offer and preferred to return to work. Petitioner did not allow her terms "househelper" or "domestic servant" are defined as follows:
to return to work and dismissed her on February 4, 1988.
The term "househelper" as used herein is synonymous to the term
On March 11, 1988, private respondent filed a request for assistance with the "domestic servant" and shall refer to any person, whether male or
Department of Labor and Employment. After the parties submitted their female, who renders services in and about the employer's home and
position papers as required by the labor arbiter assigned to the case on which services are usually necessary or desirable for the maintenance
August 24, 1988 the latter rendered a decision, the dispositive part of which and enjoyment thereof, and ministers exclusively to the personal
reads as follows: comfort and enjoyment of the employer's family.3

WHEREFORE, Conformably With The Foregoing, judgment is The foregoing definition clearly contemplates such househelper or domestic
hereby rendered ordering the respondent, Apex Mining Company, servant who is employed in the employer's home to minister exclusively to
Inc., Masara, Davao del Norte, to pay the complainant, to wit: the personal comfort and enjoyment of the employer's family. Such definition
covers family drivers, domestic servants, laundry women, yayas, gardeners, Inasmuch as private respondent appears not to be interested in returning to
houseboys and other similar househelps. her work for valid reasons, the payment of separation pay to her is in order.

The definition cannot be interpreted to include househelp or laundrywomen WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED and the appealed decision and
working in staffhouses of a company, like petitioner who attends to the needs resolution of public respondent NLRC are hereby AFFIRMED. No
of the company's guest and other persons availing of said facilities. By the pronouncement as to costs.
same token, it cannot be considered to extend to then driver, houseboy, or
gardener exclusively working in the company, the staffhouses and its
premises. They may not be considered as within the meaning of a
"househelper" or "domestic servant" as above-defined by law.

The criteria is the personal comfort and enjoyment of the family of the
employer in the home of said employer. While it may be true that the nature
of the work of a househelper, domestic servant or laundrywoman in a home
or in a company staffhouse may be similar in nature, the difference in their
circumstances is that in the former instance they are actually serving the
family while in the latter case, whether it is a corporation or a single
proprietorship engaged in business or industry or any other agricultural or
similar pursuit, service is being rendered in the staffhouses or within the
premises of the business of the employer. In such instance, they are
employees of the company or employer in the business concerned entitled to
the privileges of a regular employee.

Petitioner contends that it is only when the househelper or domestic servant

is assigned to certain aspects of the business of the employer that such
househelper or domestic servant may be considered as such as employee.
The Court finds no merit in making any such distinction. The mere fact that
the househelper or domestic servant 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 or domestic servant is and
should be considered as a regular employee of the employer and not as a
mere family househelper or domestic servant as contemplated in Rule XIII,
Section l(b), Book 3 of the Labor Code, as amended.

Petitioner denies having illegally dismissed private respondent and maintains

that respondent abandoned her work.1âwphi1This argument notwithstanding,
there is enough evidence to show that because of an accident which took
place while private respondent was performing her laundry services, she was
not able to work and was ultimately separated from the service. She is,
therefore, entitled to appropriate relief as a regular employee of petitioner.