Loss of Trust and Confidence should be Genuine and not SimulatedAtty Elvin
Sta. Ana was hired as outlet Teller at the off-track betting station of Manila Jockey Club, Inc. (MJCI), in Tayuman, Manila.
Sta. Ana was suspected of engaging in personal lending business using the company fund and MJCI employee to run such personal business. However, she argued that she was using her own money, never had a shortage, and was not using MJCI employee to run her lending operation.
Sta. Ana added that doing personal business is not prohibited by the company. MJCI was not convinced.
Sta. Ana was dismissed from service after full investigation for dishonesty/loss of trust and confidence. She filed an illegal dismissal case.
The Supreme Court held that her dismissal was illegal since MJCI failed to prove that Sta. Ana committed willful breach of trust.
It is a cardinal rule that loss of trust and confidence should be genuine, and not simulated; it must arise from dishonest or deceitful conduct, and must not be arbitrarily asserted in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.
While proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required, loss of trust must have some basis or such reasonable ground for one to believe that the employee committed the infraction, and the latter’s participation makes him or her totally unworthy of the trust demanded by the position. It was not so established in this case.
Hence, to dismiss her based on loss of trust and confidence is unwarranted.
(Sta. Ana vs. Manila Jockey Club, Inc., G.R. No. 208459, February 15, 2017)