Specific Instances Constituting Serious Misconduct

Specific Instances Constituting Serious Misconduct

A series of irregularities may constitute serious misconduct. Thus, in Gustilo vs. Wyeth Phils. where the employee committed the following acts:

  1. Falsified his employment application form by not stating therein that he is the nephew of the company’s manager;
  2. Falsified gasoline receipt;
  3. Submitted false report of his trade outlet calls; and
  4. Unauthorized availment of sick, vacation and emergency leaves

The Court held that with those listed offenses, the dismissal from service is in order. Citing Piedad vs. Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. [G.R. No. L-73735, August 31, 1987, 153 SCRA 500, 509], it held that: “we stressed that a series of irregularities when put together may constitute serious misconduct, which under Article 282 of the Labor Code, as amended, is a just cause for dismissal.”

Other acts which the Supreme Court ruled as constituting serious misconduct are as follows:

  1. Conduct of an employee which erodes the morale of his co-employees;
  2. The circulation of an e-mail message which re- sounds subversion and undermines the authority and credibility of the management and employee displayed a tendency to act without management’s approval, and even against management’s will;
  3. An act of the employee of assailing an employer in a union newspaper since it is inimical to the interest of the employer as it sullied its reputation;
  4. The circulation of a manifesto accusing the directress, principal and cashier of the school of, among others, forcing teachers to sign affidavits waiving the benefits of a law, blacklisting ten teachers whose names appeared in the manifesto, terminating teachers sans proper evaluation and preventing the establishment of a teacher’s union;
  5. False, malicious and public imputation in writing against an immediate superior. Also known as li- bel;
  6. Taking or using of illegal substance or shabu inside the company premises;
  7. Immoral conduct which is prejudicial or detrimental to the interest of the employer;

The circumstances of each particular case must be holistically considered and evaluated in light of the prevailing norms of conduct and applicable laws.

In a case involving a teacher, immorality was defined as a course of conduct which offends the morals of the community and is a bad example to the youth whose ideals a teacher is supposed to foster and

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elevate. Thus, the gravity and seriousness of the charges against the teacher stem from his being a married man and at the same time a teacher. Therefore, when a teacher engages in extra- marital relationship, especially when the parties are both married, such behavior amounts to immorality, justifying his termination from employment.

Even if the immoral act is committed after office hours it is a ground for dismissal and was held to be work-related matter considering that the peace of the company is thereby affected.

  1. Sexual intercourse inside company premises;
  2. Fighting within work premises which act ad- versely affects employer’s interests for it distracts employees, disrupts operations and creates a hostile work atmosphere;

However, in a case when the employee concerned did not instigate the fight and was in fact the victim who was constrained to defend himself, there is no ground for serious misconduct;

  1. Assaulting a co-employee constitutes serious misconduct;
  2. Uttering obscene, insulting or offensive words against a superior;

The Supreme Court ruled for the validity of dismissal on the ground of circulated letters calling the executive vice-president and general manager a “big fool,” “anti- Filipino,” and accusing him of “mismanagement, inefficiency, lack of planning and foresight, petty favoritism, dictatorial policies, one-man rule, contemptuous attitude to labor, anti-Filipino utterances and activities.”

In another case, an employee was dismissed for hurling invectives at a company physician such as “sayang ang pagka-professional mo” and “putang ina mo.”

An employee’s dismissal was held to be valid when he uttered towards his supervisor “gago ka” and taunting the latter by saying “bakit ano’ng gusto mo, ‘tang ina mo.”

However, if the act of disrespect was provoked by the superior or employer, there is no proper ground for

  1. The act of forging the signatures of clients to cover up employee’s negligence such that he even instructed a client to lie and “just say yes” to the questions that may be asked of her by the company;
  2. Gambling within the company premises;
  3. Rendering service to a business rival;
  4. Selling competitor’s products;
  5. By sleeping on the job and leaving his work area without prior authorization, an employee did not merely disregard company rules. He, in effect, issued an open invitation for others to violate those same company rules;
  6. Deceiving a customer for personal gain;
  7. Engaging in a business that competed with that of the employer’s;
  8. Intoxication which interferes with employee’s work constitutes serious misconduct;

20. A teacher who exerts pressure upon a colleague to change the grade of a student from failing to a passing one is serious misconduct.

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