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Sameer Overseas Placement Agency Inc. v. Cabiles, GR 170139, 5 August 2014, En Banc,
“ Sameer failed to present any just cause for Cabiles’s dismissal. The employer, Wacoal, also failed to observe due process of law.
Employers have the prerogative to impose productivity and quality standards at work and impose reasonable rules to ensure compliance with such standards. They cannot be compelled to retain the services of employees who are guilty of acts inimical to the employer’s interests. However, this prerogative must not be abused and must be tempered with the employee’s right to security of tenure (guaranteed by Article XIII, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution); employees may not be terminated without a valid or just cause (substantive due process) and without observing proper procedure (procedural due process).
Meanwhile, the Court emphasized that employees have the right to security of tenure even though they move to work at a different jurisdiction, following the principle of lex loci contractus (law of the land where the contract is made), as cited in Triple Eight Integrated Services v. NLRC2 and PCL Shipping Philippines v. NLRC3. Thus, since the contract of employment of Cabiles was perfected in the Philippines, the Labor Code, its IRR, other labor laws, and most especially the constitutional guarantee of security of tenure all apply, both with respect to substantive and procedural rights.
Under the Labor Code therefore, Sameer’s contention that Cabiles was inefficient and negligent in her duties may constitute a just cause under Article 282(b) thereof [gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties], but only if Sameer was able to prove it, since the burden of proof is on the employer.
Thus, to show that dismissal resulting from inefficiency in work is valid, the following requisites must concur: 1. The employer has set standards of conduct and workmanship against which the employee will be judged; 2. The standards of conduct and workmanship must have been communicated to the employee; and, 3. The communication was made at a reasonable time prior to the employee's performance assessment. In this case, Sameer failed to present evidence to prove that Cabiles fell short of Wacoal’s work requirements. Moreover, Sameer never specified which requirements or standards Cabiles failed to meet or what acts constituted inefficiency. Neither was there any showing that Cabiles was sufficiently informed of the standards of efficiency and performance of Wacoal. The fact that there was conflict as to what Cabiles’s position was showed that even that basic matter was unclear. Since there is no proof that Cabiles was terminated under a just cause, her termination is thus illegal, as violative of substantive due process.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with modification. Petitioner Sameer Overseas Placement Agency is ORDERED to pay respondent Joy C. Cabiles the amount equivalent to her salary for the unexpired portion of her employment contract at an interest of 6% per annum from the finality of this judgment. Petitioner is also ORDERED to reimburse respondent the withheld NT$3,000.00 salary and pay respondent attorney's fees of NT$300.00 at an interest of 6% per annum from the finality of this judgment. The clause, ‘ or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is
Less in Section 7 of Republic Act No. 10022 amending Section 10 of Republic Act No. 8042 is
Declared unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void. SO ORDERED.