Paredes vs. Feed the Children Philippines, Inc.

G.R. No. 184397. September 9, 2015

FACTS:

Respondent Feed the Children Philippines, Inc. (FTCP) is a nonstock, nonprofit, and nongovernment organization which objective is to provide food, clothing, educational supplies and other necessities of indigent children worldwide Paredes was FTCP’s National Director.

42 FTCP employees signed a petition letter addressed to the Board expressing their complaints against petitioner’s leadership and management of FTCP.

During the Board meeting, the Board decided to establish Supervisory Team that will draw a definite work plan – the Supervisory Team will not replace the functions of the National Director and will hire an independent professional management and financial auditor.

The Board resolved to suspend petitioner because of her indifferent attitude and unjustified refusal to submit to an audit. Before it could be implemented, respondent FTCP received her resignation letter effective December 31 2005. The Board accepted her resignation with the condition that its effectivity be moved to November 30, 2005.

Petitioner filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal, claiming that she was forced to resign, thus, was constructively dismissed. She also content that moving the effectivity date of petitioner’s resignation to a date earlier than what she had stated is malicious.

The LA ruled in favor of the respondents and required Paredes to pay her accountabilities, damages. The NLRC reversed and set aside the decision of the LA and ruled in Paredes’s favor ordering the respondent to pay salaries and allowances corresponding to the unexpired portion of her contract and damages.

The CA ruled for the respondents declaring that Paredes have voluntarily resigned from her employment/con­sul­tancy

ISSUES:

WON Paredes was constructively dismissed?

WON the CA violated the Constitution, the law, and jurisprudence when it resolved the lingering doubt in the present case against labor.

HELD:

NO. She failed to present clear and positive evidence. The act of the employer moving the effectivity of the resignation is not an act of harassment. The 30-day notice requirement for an employee’s resignation is actually for the benefit of the employer who has the discretion to waive such period. Its purpose is to afford the employer enough time to hire another employee if needed and to see to it that there is proper turnover of the tasks which the resigning employee may be handling

Such rule requiring an employee to stay or complete the 30-day period prior to the effectivity of his resignation becomes discretionary on the part of management as an employee who intends to resign may be allowed a shorter period before his resignation becomes effective

Case law holds that constructive dismissal occurs when there is cessation of work because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; when there is a demotion in rank or diminution in pay or both; or when a clear discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to the employee.

(2) No. The law and jurisprudence guarantee security of tenure to every employee. However, in protecting the rights of the workers, the law does not authorize the oppression or self-destruction of the employer. Social justice does not mean that every labor dispute shall automatically be decided in favor of labor. Thus, the Constitution and the law equally recognize the employer’s right and prerogative to manage its operation according to reasonable standards and norms of fair play

Petitioner could not expect to have the same level of ardent protection that the laws bestow upon a lowly laborer be given to her, a high ranking officer of respondent FTCP. As proven, she was considered on equal footing with her employer and even had the occasion to demand the renewal of her contract by sending an e-mail to the organization’s founder.

In construction of labor laws, Generally, doubts in labor cases should be resolved in favor of labor

The CA allegedly violated the Constitution by of resolving the doubt against labor instead in favor of it.

Generally, doubts on labor cases shall be resolved in favor of labor not against.

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