Criminal Aspects of Incidents Leading to Loss of Trust and Confidence

Criminal Aspects of Incidents Leading to Loss of Trust and Confidence

Loss of trust and confidence is one of the grounds for dismissal of employees under the Labor Code. This may arise from incidents of fraud, theft, etc. which are criminal in nature.

The question is what would be the effect of the criminal aspects on the labor dispute stemming from loss of trust and confidence?

The violation of company policy may involve a criminal act for which the employee may be charged by the employer in a criminal court. Non-conviction in such court or even acquittal would not necessarily negate the lost of trust as a ground for dismissal.

Misappropriation of company funds, although the shortages had been fully restituted, is a valid ground to terminate the services of an employee for loss of trust and confidence. (Santos vs. San Miguel Corp., G.R. No. 149416, March 14, 2003.)

In a case where an employee of a drug store received the payment for medicine purchased by the customer and placed the amount in her pocket, her dismissal was held valid although she remitted the amount eventually. The fact that the employee eventually remitted the payment did not obliterate or mitigate her wrongdoing. (Mercury Drug Corp. vs. Serrano, G.R. No. 160509, March 10, 2006.)

In one case where the employee incurred a shortage in his collection, it was found that the employee patched up the shortage with his overage. When asked to explain such shortage, the employee not only admitted the same but even tried to exculpate himself from liability by attempting to offset said shortage with his alleged overage. The Court ruled that this practice should never be countenanced because it

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would allow the employees to patch up inaccuracies or even their own wrongdoings and thus, the true revenues or losses of the company will never be correctly
 identified. According to the Court, this irregular practice would be detrimental to the interests of the employer whose bread and butter depends solely on realized. (See Martinez vs. Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (CENPELCO), G.R. No. 192306, July 15, 2013.)

Under Article 297 of the Labor Code, one of the grounds for termination of an employee is the commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives.

The commission of a crime or offense by the em- ployee may justify the termination of his employment, if such crime or offense is committed against any of the following persons:

  1. His employer;
  2. Any immediate member of his employer’s family; or

Department Order (DO) No. 18 issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in 1994, promulgating the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 7658, defines320 immediate member of employer’s family in accordance with the provision of Article 150 of the Family Code.

Members of the family are those persons having family relations referred to in Article 150 of the Family Code of the Philippines. It shall include the employer-parent’s or legal guardian’s husband or wife, parents, children, other ascendants or descendants, brothers and sisters whether of full or half-blood.

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