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Decorion was a regular employee of Mariculum Mining who was placed under preventive suspension. He was placed under suspension because of his failure to attend a meeting that prompted the management not to allow him report to work for the following day. After a month, Decorion was served a Notice of Infraction and Proposed Dismissal to enable him present his side which prompted him to file a complaint for illegal dismissal. This made Decorion’s indefinite suspension be made definite with a warning that violation of the same conduct would be punished with dismissal. Months after, he was served a memo telling him of his temporary lay-off due to Maricalum’s temporary suspension of its operations. Decorion, through his counsel, requested that he be reinstated which was, unfortunately, denied. Maricalum insist that Decorion was not dismissed but merely preventively suspended
Was the preventive suspension valid/proper.
The SC held that sections 8 and 9 of Rule XXIII, Book V of the Implementing Rules are explicit that preventive suspension is justified where the employee’s continued employment poses a serious and imminent threat to the life or property of the employer or of the employee’s co-workers. Without this kind of threat, preventive suspension is not proper.
In this case, Decorion was suspended only because he failed to attend a meeting called by his supervisor. There is no evidence to indicate that his failure to attend the meeting prejudiced his employer or that his presence in the company’s premises posed a serious threat to his employer and co-workers. The preventive suspension was clearly unjustified. What is more, Decorion’s suspension persisted beyond the 30-day period allowed by the Implementing Rules. Preventive suspension which lasts beyond the maximum period allowed by the Implementing Rules amounts to constructive dismissal.
Similarly, from the time Decorion was placed under preventive suspension on April 11, 1996 up to the time a grievance meeting was conducted on June 5, 1996, 55 days had already passed. Another 48 days went by before he filed a complaint for illegal dismissal on July 23, 1996. Thus, at the time Decorion filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, he had already been suspended for a total of 103 days.
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