G.R. Nos. 142732-33             December 4, 2007


In 1992, Genuino was employed by Citibank as Treasury Sales Division Head with the rank of Assistant Vice-President.  Citibank sent Genuino a letter charging her with “knowledge and/or involvement” in transactions “which were irregular or even fraudulent.” In the same letter, Genuino was informed she was under preventive suspension. Genuino demanded for a bill of particulars regarding the charges against him. 

However the letters did not specify the extent of Genuino’s alleged knowledge and participation in the diversion of bank’s clients’ funds, manner of diversion, and amounts involved; the acts attributed to Genuino that conflicted with the bank’s interests; and the circumstances surrounding the alleged irregular transactions. 

Genuino’s employment was terminated by Citibank on grounds of (1) serious misconduct, (2) willful breach of the trust reposed upon her by the bank, and (3) commission of a crime against the bank.

         The bank gave Genuino an opportunity to deny the truth of the allegations in writing and participate in the administrative investigation, however Genuino failed to attend the hearings. Citibank terminated the employment of Genuino.

       Genuino filed before the Labor Arbiter a Complaint against Citibank for illegal suspension and illegal dismissal.


Whether the dismissal of Genuino is for just cause and in accordance with due process.


The dismissal was for just cause but lacked due process, Citibank failed to (a) adequately notify Genuino of the charges against her. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code provide that any employer seeking to dismiss a worker shall furnish the latter a written notice stating the particular acts or omissions constituting the grounds for dismissal. The purpose of this notice is to sufficiently apprise the employee of the acts complained of and enable him/her to prepare his/her defense. In this case, the letters sent by Citibank did not identify the particular acts or omissions allegedly committed by Genuino. While the bank gave Genuino an opportunity to deny the truth of the allegations in writing and participate in the administrative investigation, the fact remains that the charges were too general to enable Genuino to intelligently and adequately prepare her defense.

Art. 282(c) of the Labor Code provides that an employer may terminate an employment for fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him/her by his/her employer or duly authorized representative. In order to constitute as just cause for dismissal, loss of confidence should relate to acts inimical to the interests of the employer. Also, the act complained of should have arisen from the performance of the employee’s duties. For loss of trust and confidence to be a valid ground for an employee’s dismissal, it must be substantial and not arbitrary, and must be founded on clearly established facts sufficient to warrant the employee’s separation from work.

In view of Citibank’s failure to observe due process, however, nominal damages are in order but the amount is hereby raised to PhP 30,000 pursuant to Agabon v. NLRC.

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