Burden of Proof in Dispute Over Resignation LetterAtty Elvin
Teodora F. Campo (Campo) claimed that she worked for Silvertex Weaving Corporaton (SILVERTEX) as a weaving machine operator. Prior to her dismissal, she was suspended for one week after a stitching machine that she was operating overheated and emitted smoke on. When she tried to report back to work, she was denied entry by the SILVERTEX’s security guard, reportedly upon the instructions of Arcenal.
For their defense, the Silvertex Weaving Corporation (Silvertex) argued that Campo voluntarily resigned from SILVERTEX after she was reprimanded for poor job performance.
They submitted a handwritten resignation letter allegedly executed by Campo together with the Waiver, Release and Quitclaims Statement that she supposedly signed following her receipt of ₱30,000.00 from SILVERTEX. Campo, however, denied having executed the resignation letter, the quitclaim, and the supposed receipt of the ₱30,000.00.
Who has the burden of proof in resignation letter?
The employer has the burden of proving that the employee was not dismissed, or, if dismissed, that the dismissal was not illegal. Silvertex attempted to discharge the burden of proving Campo’s resignation by referring mainly to a letter allegedly executed by Campo.
There were conflicting findings in the PNP QDR. The report mentions that alleged resignation letter did not appear to be written by the same person who signed the several payroll slips and Philhealth records although it matched the supposed handwriting of Campo in her bio-data.
Clearly then, given the vehement claim of Campo that her signature on the resignation letter was a mere forgery, the evidence presented by Silvertex to establish their defense of voluntary resignation failed to suffice. Several other indicators cast doubt on the letter’s authenticity.
The authenticity and due execution of the undated Waiver, Release and Quitclaims Statement purportedly signed by Campo was also not sufficiently established.
The QDR was not conclusive on the issue of its genuineness. Even granting that such document was actually executed by Campo, its execution was not fatal to Campo’s case for illegal dismissal. The finding of illegal dismissal could still stand, as jurisprudence provides that “[a ]n employee’s execution of a final settlement and receipt of amounts agreed upon do not foreclose his right to pursue a claim for illegal dismissal.
(Silvertex Weaving Corporaton vs. Campo, G.R. No. 211411, March 16, 2016)
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