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Tegimenta Chemical Philippines owned by petitioner Vivian D. Garcia hired respondent Buensalida as an aircon maintenance technician. Respondent injured his left ring finger while repairing the air handling units at the SM Department Store in Davao City. As a result, respondent underwent a surgical debridgement procedure and was confined in the hospital for two days.
SM Prime Holdings initially shouldered respondent's hospitalization expenses but it subsequently collected the amount from petitioner who, in turn, informed respondent that the amount would be deducted from his salary.
Petitioner also ignored respondent's availment of SSS and PhilHealth benefits.
Thereafter, respondent demanded for the restoration of the deducted amounts but was denied by petitioner; hence, he filed a complaint for "constructive dismissal with money claims" against petitioner before the Regional Arbitration Branch of Davao City.
Meanwhile, respondent was recalled to the Head Office at Quezon City. Respondent averred that his transfer was purposely done by petitioner to harass him, in view of their estranged relationship brought about by the filing of the Davao case. He was not advanced any travel fare in going back to Manila. He was also instructed to attend seminars conducted by the SSS and Philhealth.
Petitioner issued another Memorandum informing respondent that he would be re-assigned to Manila as night shift supervisor. However, respondent refused the new assignment because it would allegedly affect his gross income and other benefits. The night shift had no fixed work schedule in contrast to respondent's previous six-days-a-week schedule. Respondent would then be deprived of a fixed or regular income.
Petitioner again issued a Memorandum stating that respondent's re-assignment was "for the good interest of the company." The move was allegedly "aimed to stop the increasing polarization among the personnel in Davao City" and the "result of cost-cutting measures implemented by the company in all SM branches and establishments."
Thus, respondent filed another Complaint for constructive illegal dismissal against petitioner before the NLRC-NCR-North Sector in Quezon City.
Subsequently, respondent amended his Complaint in the NCR case to include underpayment or non-payment of salaries, service incentive leave, 13th month pay and boarding house rental. He claimed that petitioner failed to pay his boarding expenses arising from his assignment to Davao City, contrary to the promise of petitioner. His ECOLA, 13th month pay and service incentive leave pay were also not paid in the manner provided by law.
The Labor Arbiter dismissed respondent's complaint in the NCR case on the ground that the cause of action therein was embraced in the Davao case. The NLRC affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter in a resolution. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the NLRC resolution in a Decision. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the appellate court in a Resolution. Hence, the instant petition.
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