Effect of Acquittal from Criminal Case on Labor CaseAtty Elvin
The company dismissed the employee for theft. The latter filed and illegal dismissal case. However, the company filed a criminal case against the employee.
The worker was acquitted in the criminal case. Should the dismissal of employee be also be considered as without basis thus, illegal?
The Supreme Court held that the filing of the complaint by the public prosecutor is sufficient ground for a dismissal of an employee for loss of trust and confidence.
Related: Loss of Trust and Confidence
The evidence supporting the criminal charge, found sufficient to show prima facie guilt after preliminary investigation, constitutes just cause for termination based on loss of trust and confidence. In this case, the Assistant City Prosecutor of Valenzuela City recommended the filing of information for qualified theft against Matis and the others.
Additionally, an employee’s acquittal in a criminal case does not automatically preclude a determination that he has been guilty of acts inimical to the employer’s interest resulting in loss of trust and confidence.
An acquittal in criminal prosecution does not have the effect of extinguishing liability for dismissal on the ground of breach of trust and confidence. The trial court acquitted Matis and the others due to insufficiency of evidence to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
While the evidence presented failed to satisfy the quantum of proof required in criminal cases, the same substantially proved the dishonest act of Matis which warranted his dismissal from employment.
(Matis vs. Manila Electric Company, G.R. No. 206629, September 14, 2016)