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Kawada was a Full Assistant Store Manager at Uniwide. Later, Uniwide, through Store Manager Apduhan, issued a Memorandum addressed to Kawada summarizing the various reported incidents signifying unsatisfactory performance on the latter’s part. On an earlier setting on the investigation of her case, Kawada filed a sick leave, thus causing the hearing/investigation to be rescheduled. Again, upon rescheduling, Kawada, despite notice and warning that failure to appear would mean abandonment of her work, did not appear, this time coming up with the excuse that she had been already “constructively dismissed”. Uniwide terminated her work.
Private respondent claims that from the months of February to June 1998, she had been subjected to constant harassment, ridicule and inhumane treatment by Apduhan, with the hope that the latter can get the private respondent to resign. The harassment allegedly came in the form of successive memoranda which private respondent She filed a case for illegal dismissal.
LA dismissed the case but NLRC ruled in favor of Kawada. Upon appeal by Uniwide, CA affirmed NLRC’s decision.
Whether or not respondent was constructively dismissed.
No. Case law defines constructive dismissal as a cessation of work because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; when there are 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.
The test of constructive dismissal is whether a reasonable person in the employee's position would have felt compelled to give up his position under the circumstances. It is an act amounting to dismissal but made to appear as if it were not. In fact, the employee who is constructively dismissed may be allowed to keep on coming to work. Constructive dismissal is therefore a dismissal in disguise.
The law recognizes and resolves this situation in favor of employees in order to protect their rights and interests from the coercive acts of the employer. The Court finds that private respondent's allegation of harassment is a specious statement which contains nothing but empty imputation of a fact that could hardly be given any evidentiary weight by this Court. Private respondent's bare allegations of constructive dismissal, when uncorroborated by the evidence on record, cannot be given credence.
The right to impose disciplinary sanctions upon an employee for just and valid cause, as well as the authority to determine the existence of said cause in accordance with the norms of due process, pertains in the first place to the employer. Clearly, the memoranda are not forms of harassment, but petitioners' compliance with the requirements of due process.
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