NLRC finds Radio Sagada committed illegal dismissal

>> Monday, June 13, 2016

By Gina Dizon

SAGADA, Mountain Province -- The  National Labor Relations  Court  (NLRC) reversed  the decision of the labor arbiter  dismissing a labor case filed by complainant-employee Evelyn Piluden against  employer Radio Sagada  Media Network.
Piluden was a part time employee of  Radio Sagada  since October 2012  until she was dismissed from  her work  May 2015 causing her to  file a case of  illegal dismissal before the  Department of  Labor (DOLE)  on July 2015.
Labor Arbiter Raymund Celino dismissed the case filed by Piluden having adapted the assertion of  Radio Sagada that Piluden is a part time employee  who “insisted on a full time  employment which  Radio Sagada cannot grant because of its financial constraints.”
NLRC ruled “there is no substantial evidence to  prove that Piluden insisted on a full time employment or that she refused continuance of her part time  employment  after her request was denied. Even if it be  true that she insisted or reiterated  her call to be employed as full time  such alone is not a ground to dismiss her.”
 NLRC ruled  Piluden was dismissed with the “absence of a lawful ground.  The lack of due process was evident.”
Piluden was first verbally terminated on May 8 , 2015  before she was informed of the reasons on August 18, 2015  when she received the board  resolution  terminating her. 
The Labor Arbiter’s decision caused  Piluden to elevate her case to the NLRC which ruled  that  Piluden was  a regular employee who was illegally dismissed  without  due process.
In their decision, NLRC concurred with Piluden’s statement that she is a part time employee  and having rendered at least one year of service  to  Radio Sagada Media Network as regular employee.
NLRC ruled that “the designation of an employee whether  as full time or part time  only referred to the number of hours  he/she renders  service on a workday. If he/she  renders the normal  eight hours a day at work, he/she is considered a full time employee. In other words it has no bearing on the employee status  of the worker. A regular employee can either be a full time or a part time worker.”
NLRC further stated, “The same protection afforded to  full time workers should also be  extended to part time workers. Part time employees also enjoy security of tenure,  if they have attained regularity of employment by the nature of their work or by sheer length of service. That the part time employee also  performs activities  usually necessary or desirable to the usual business or trade of the  employer is an indicator  of regular employment.”
Article 20 of the  Labor Code  states that  an employment shall be deemed regular where the employee has been engaged  to perform activities  which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business  or trade.
By length of services, Piluden’s work with Radio Sagada was at least or even more than one year having been formally  hired as   Administrative  Assistant  since October 2012. Her continuous  employment with Radio Sagada only indicates  the continuing need  or necessity for her  services  if not indispensability  of that activity to the business of the employer, there is   regularity of employment.
“Radio Sagada’s assertion that Piluden was a mere contractual employee cannot prevail over the dictates or implication of law as to what should be her status,” NLRC stated in their  13 page decision.
The employment status  of a person is defined as prescribed by law and not what the parties say it should be.
NLRC granted  Piluden’s reinstatement. However since there is already strained relations between employer and the  employee, separation pay is  granted instead.
NLRC further ruled Piluden is entitled to full backwages  from the time she was illegally dismissed  on May 8, 2015  and separation pay covering  her service computed from her date of engagement both awards to be computed until final judgment.


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