Employment Records must be Maintained in the Office where Employees are AssignedAtty Elvin
Quebral, et al., alleged that Angbus employed them as construction workers on various dates from 2008 to 2011. They claimed to be regular employees since they were engaged to perform tasks which are necessary and desirable to the usual business of Angbus, and that they have rendered services to the latter’s construction business for several years already.
They were, however, summarily dismissed from work on June 28, 2012 and July 14, 2012 without any just or authorized cause and due process. Thus, they filed consolidated cases for illegal dismissal with money claims.
The company maintained that complainants were first employed by Angelfe Management and Consultancy (Angelfe) for a one-time project only. Two or three years after the completion of the Angelfe project, they were then hired by Angbus, which is a separate and distinct business entity from the former.
Thus, complainants were hired only for two project employment contracts -one each with Angelfe and Angbus. The company further stated that a long period of time between the first project employment and the other intervened, which meant that complainants were not re-hired repeatedly and continuously.
However, the company failed to present complainants’ employment contracts, payrolls, and job application documents either at Angelfe or Angbus. The company averred that these documents were completely damaged by the flood caused by the “habagat” on August 6 to 12, 2012, as evidenced by a Certification issued by the Chairman of Barangay Rosario, Pasig City, (Brgy. Rosario Certification) where Angelfe and later, Angbus purportedly held offices.
Whether or not non-presentation of project contract can be justified by the damage caused to Company’ office.
On the issue of records lost in an extension office, the Supreme Court held that Section 11, Rule X, Book III of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code (Rules) requires the employer to keep all employment records in the main or branch office where the employees are assigned.
The extension office in the project site in Brgy. Rosario, Pasig City is not a branch office contemplated by the Rules where employees’ records may be kept but merely a temporary office.
Hence, the Brgy. Rosario Certification, stating that complainants’ employment records were destroyed by flood, does not justify the non-presentation of the employment contracts.
(Quebral, et al. vs. Angbus Construction, Inc., G.R. No. 221897, November 7, 2016)
How to Prepare a Valid Project Employment Contract