Loss of Trust and Confidence as Ground for Termination Must have Reasonable GroundsAtty Elvin
For loss of trust and confidence to constitute a sufficient ground for termination, the employer must have a reasonable ground to believe, if not to entertain the moral conviction, that the employee was responsible for the misconduct, and that the nature of his participation therein rendered him absolutely unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded by his position.
As can be deduced from Article 297 of the Labor Code, as amended, the breach of trust and confidence must be willful. To be a valid ground for an employee’s dismissal, loss of trust and confidence must be based on a willful breach. A breach is willful if it is done intentionally, knowingly and purposely, without justifiable excuse.
A willful breach cannot be a breach resulting from mere carelessness. A breach is willful if it is done intentionally, knowingly and purposely, without justifiable excuse, as distinguished from an act done carelessly, thoughtlessly, heedlessly or inadvertently.
Loss of trust and confidence, to be a valid cause for dismissal, must be based on a willful breach of trust and founded on clearly established facts. The basis for the dismissal must be clearly and convincingly
established but proof beyond reasonable doubt is not necessary.
The employer must provide substantial basis to sup- port its claim of breach of trust. Conclusion of law or of fact will not stand before the court of law. Such a vague, all-encompassing pretext as loss of confidence, if unqualifiedly given imprimatur, could readily reduce to barren the constitutional guarantee of security of tenure. (Felix vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 148256, November 17, 2004.)
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