TRANSFER THAT RESULTS IN PROMOTION REQUIRES ACCEPTANCE OF EMPLOYEEAtty Elvin
A memorandum was issued transferring an employee to Delivery Section. The employee refused as he did not want to be promoted as a “Delivery Supervisor.” Another employee also declined the offer of promotion claiming that he was contented in his post then as a Forklift Operator. He also alleged that he would be more productive as an employee if he remained in his post. He also lacked prior supervisory experience.
The company subsequently terminated them. The employees filed a labor case. Is the transfer an exercise of management prerogative or does it require consent of employees?
The Court held that that the offer of transfer is, in legal contemplation, a promotion, which the employees validly refused. Such refusal cannot be the basis for their dismissal from service.
In Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. vs. Del Villar the management has the prerogative to transfer or assign employees from one office or area of operation to another – provided there is no demotion in rank or diminution of salary, benefits, and other privileges. The action is not motivated by discrimination, made in bad faith, or effected as a form of punishment or demotion without sufficient cause.
A transfer is a movement from one position to another which is of equivalent rank, level or salary, without break in service. Promotion, on the other hand, is the advancement from one position to another with an increase in duties and responsibilities as authorized by law, and usually accompanied by an increase in salary.
An employee is not bound to accept a promotion, which is in the nature of a gift or reward. Refusal to be promoted is a valid exercise of a right. Such exercise cannot be considered in law as insubordination, or willful disobedience of a lawful order of the employer, hence, it cannot be the basis of an employee’s dismissal from service.
Hence, despite the fact that no salary increases were effected, the assumption of the post of a Delivery Supervisor/Coordinator should be considered a promotion. The employees’ refusal to accept the same was therefore valid.
(Echo 2000 Commercial Corporation vs. FILIPINO-ECHO 2000 CHAPTER-CLO, G.R. No. 214092, January 11, 2016)