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Star Paper Corporation vs.

Simbol
487 SCRA 228

We are called to decide an issue of first impression: whether the policy of the employer banning spouses from working in
the same company violates the rights of the employee under the Constitution and the Labor Code or is a valid exercise of
management prerogative.

FACTS: Petitioner Star Paper Corporation (the company) is a corporation engaged in trading principally of paper
products. Josephine Ongsitco is its Manager of the Personnel and Administration Department while Sebastian Chua is its
Managing Director.

The evidence for the petitioners show that respondents Ronaldo D. Simbol (Simbol), Wilfreda N. Comia (Comia) and
Lorna E. Estrella (Estrella) were all regular employees of the company. Simbol was employed by the company on October
27, 1993. He met Alma Dayrit, also an employee of the company, whom he married on June 27, 1998. Prior to the
marriage, Ongsitco advised the couple that should they decide to get married, one of them should resign pursuant to a
company policy promulgated in 1995, viz.:

1. New applicants will not be allowed to be hired if in case he/she has [a] relative, up to [the] 3rd degree of relationship,
already employed by the company.

2. In case of two of our employees (both singles [sic], one male and another female) developed a friendly relationship
during the course of their employment and then decided to get married, one of them should resign to preserve the policy
stated above

Simbol resigned on June 20, 1998 pursuant to the company policy.

Comia was hired by the company on February 5, 1997. She met Howard Comia, a co-employee, whom she married
on June 1, 2000. Ongsitco likewise reminded them that pursuant to company policy, one must resign should they decide
to get married. Comia resigned on June 30, 2000.

Estrella was hired on July 29, 1994. She met Luisito Zuiga (Zuiga), also a co-worker. Petitioners stated that Zuiga, a
married man, got Estrella pregnant. The company allegedly could have terminated her services due to immorality but she
opted to resign on December 21, 1999. The respondents each signed a Release and Confirmation Agreement. They
stated therein that they have no money and property accountabilities in the company and that they release the latter of
any claim or demand of whatever nature.

Respondents offer a different version of their dismissal. Simbol and Comia allege that they did not resign voluntarily; they
were compelled to resign in view of an illegal company policy. As to respondent Estrella, she alleges that she had a
relationship with co-worker Zuiga who misrepresented himself as a married but separated man. After he got her pregnant,
she discovered that he was not separated. Thus, she severed her relationship with him to avoid dismissal due to the
company policy. On November 30, 1999, she met an accident and was advised by the doctor at
the Orthopedic Hospital to recuperate for twenty-one (21) days. She returned to work on December 21, 1999 but she
found out that her name was on-hold at the gate. She was denied entry. She was directed to proceed to the personnel
office where one of the staff handed her a memorandum. The memorandum stated that she was being dismissed for
immoral conduct. She refused to sign the memorandum because she was on leave for twenty-one (21) days and has not
been given a chance to explain. The management asked her to write an explanation. However, after submission of the
explanation, she was nonetheless dismissed by the company. Due to her urgent need for money, she later submitted a
letter of resignation in exchange for her thirteenth month pay.

Respondents later filed a complaint for unfair labor practice, constructive dismissal, separation pay and attorney’s fees.
They averred that the aforementioned company policy is illegal and contravenes Article 136 of the Labor Code. They also
contended that they were dismissed due to their union membership.

On May 31, 2001, Labor Arbiter Melquiades Sol del Rosario dismissed the complaint for lack of merit, viz.:
[T]his company policy was decreed pursuant to what the respondent corporation perceived as management prerogative.
This management prerogative is quite broad and encompassing for it covers hiring, work assignment, working method,
time, place and manner of work, tools to be used, processes to be followed, supervision of workers, working regulations,
transfer of employees, work supervision, lay-off of workers and the discipline, dismissal and recall of workers. Except as
provided for or limited by special law, an employer is free to regulate, according to his own discretion and judgment all the
aspects of employment.[9] (Citations omitted.)

On appeal to the NLRC, the Commission affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter on January 11, 2002.
Respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was denied by the NLRC in a Resolution dated August 8, 2002. They
appealed to respondent court via Petition for Certiorari. In its assailed Decision dated August 3, 2004, the Court of
Appeals reversed the NLRC decision, viz.:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the May 31, 2002 (sic)[12] Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission is
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is entered as follows:

(1) Declaring illegal, the petitioners dismissal from employment and ordering private respondents to reinstate petitioners to
their former positions without loss of seniority rights with full backwages from the time of their dismissal until actual
reinstatement; and

(2) Ordering private respondents to pay petitioner’s attorney’s fees amounting to 10% of the award and the cost of this suit

ISSUE: Whether the prohibition to marry in the contract of employment is valid

HELD: It is significant to note that in the case at bar, respondents were hired after they were found fit for the job, but were
asked to resign when they married a co-employee. Petitioners failed to show how the marriage of Simbol, then a Sheeting
Machine Operator, to Alma Dayrit, then an employee of the Repacking Section, could be detrimental to its business
operations. Neither did petitioners explain how this detriment will happen in the case of Wilfreda Comia, then a Production
Helper in the Selecting Department, who married Howard Comia, then a helper in the cutter-machine. The policy is
premised on the mere fear that employees married to each other will be less efficient. If we uphold the questioned rule
without valid justification, the employer can create policies based on an unproven presumption of a perceived danger at
the expense of an employee’s right to security of tenure.

Petitioners contend that their policy will apply only when one employee marries a co-employee, but they are free to marry
persons other than co-employees. The questioned policy may not facially violate Article 136 of the Labor Code but it
creates a disproportionate effect and under the disparate impact theory, the only way it could pass judicial scrutiny is a
showing that it is reasonable despite the discriminatory, albeit disproportionate, effect. The failure of petitioners to prove a
legitimate business concern in imposing the questioned policy cannot prejudice the employee’s right to be free from
arbitrary discrimination based upon stereotypes of married persons working together in one company.

Lastly, the absence of a statute expressly prohibiting marital discrimination in our jurisdiction cannot benefit the
petitioners. The protection given to labor in our jurisdiction is vast and extensive that we cannot prudently draw inferences
from the legislature’s silence that married persons are not protected under our Constitution and declare valid a policy
based on a prejudice or stereotype. Thus, for failure of petitioners to present undisputed proof of a reasonable business
necessity, we rule that the questioned policy is an invalid exercise of management prerogative. Corollary, the issue as to
whether respondents Simbol and Comia resigned voluntarily has become moot and academic.

In the case of Estrella, the petitioner failed to adduce proof to justify her dismissal. Hence, the Court ruled that it was
illegal.

Petition was denied.

Del Monte Phil vs Lolita Velasco GR. No. 153477 March 6, 2007

Facts: Lolita M. Velasco (respondent) started working with Del Monte Philippines (petitioner) on October 21, 1976 as a
seasonal employee and was regularized on May 1, 1977. Her latest assignment was as Field Laborer.

On June 16, 1987, respondent was warned in writing due to her absences. On May 4, 1991, respondent, thru a letter, was
again warned in writing by petitioner about her absences without permission and a forfeiture of her vacation leave
entitlement for the year 1990-1991 was imposed against her.

On September 14, 1992, another warning letter was sent to respondent regarding her absences without permission during
the year 1991-1992. Her vacation entitlement for the said employment year affected was consequently forfeited.

In view of the said alleged absences without permission, on September 17, 1994, a notice of hearing was sent to
respondent notifying her of the charges filed against her for violating the Absence without Official Leave rule: that is for
excessive absence without permission on August 15-18, 29-31 and September 1-10, 1994. The hearing was set on
September 23, 1994.
Respondent having failed to appear on September 23, 1994 hearing, another notice of hearing was sent to her resetting
the investigation on September 30, 1994. It was again reset to October 5, 1994.

On January 10, 1995, after hearing, the petitioner terminated the services of respondent effective January 16, 1994 due to
excessive absences without permission.

Feeling aggrieved, respondent filed a case for illegal dismissal against petitioner asserting that her dismissal was illegal
because she was on the family way suffering from urinary tract infection, a pregnancy-borne, at the time she committed
the alleged absences. She explained that for her absence from work on August 15, 16, 17 & 18, 1994 she had sent an
application for leave to her supervisor, Prima Ybañez. Thereafter, she went to the company hospital for check-up and was
advised accordingly to rest in quarters for four (4) days or on August 27 to 30, 1994. Still not feeling well, she failed to
work on September 1, 1994 and was again advised two days of rest in quarters on September 2-3, 1994. Unable to
recover, she went to see an outside doctor, Dr. Marilyn Casino, and the latter ordered her to rest for another five (5)
consecutive days, or from September 5 to 9, 1994. She declared she did not file the adequate leave of absence because
a medical certificate was already sufficient per company policy. On September 10, 1994 she failed to report to work but
sent an application for leave of absence to her supervisor, Prima Ybañez, which was not anymore accepted.3

On April 13, 1998, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the Complaint for lack of merit. The Labor Arbiter held that the respondent
was an incorrigible absentee; that she failed to file leaves of absence; that her absences in 1986 and 1987 were without
permission; that the petitioner gave the respondent several chances to reform herself; and that the respondent did not
justify her failure to appear during the scheduled hearings and failed to explain her absences.

Respondent appealed to the NLRC. On May 29, 1999, the NLRC issued its Resolution, the dispositive portion of which
reads:

WHEREFORE, foregoing considered, the instant decision is hereby VACATED and a new one entered declaring the
dismissal of complainant as ILLEGAL. In consonance with Art. 279 of the Labor [Code], her reinstatement with full
backwages from the date of her termination from employment to her actual reinstatement is necessarily decreed.4

The NLRC held that, under the company rules, the employee may make a subsequent justification of her absenteeism,
which she was able to do in the instant case; that while it is not disputed that the respondent incurred absences exceeding
six (6) days within one employment year – a ground for dismissal under the company rules – the petitioner actually
admitted the fact that the respondent had been pregnant, hence, negating petitioner’s assertion that the respondent failed
to give any explanation of her absences; that the records bear the admission of petitioner’s officer of the receipt of the
hospital record showing the cause of her absences ("RIQ advice" or "rest-in-quarters") for August 19-20, 1994 which, in
turn, could already serve as reference in resolving the absences on August 15 to 18; that the petitioner further admitted
that the respondent was under "RIQ advice" on September 2-3, 1994 and yet insisted in including these dates among
respondent’s 16 purported unexplained absences; that it is sufficient notice for the petitioner, "a plain laborer" with
"unsophisticated judgment," to send word to her employer through a co-worker on August 15 to 16, 1994 that she was
frequently vomiting; that the sheer distance between respondent’s home and her workplace made it difficult to send formal
notice; that respondent even sent her child of tender age to inform her supervisor about her absence on September 5,
1994 due to stomach ache, but her child failed to approach the officer because her child felt ashamed, if not mortified; that
respondent’s narration that she had to bear pains during her absences on September 21 to 27, 1994 is credible; that she
dared not venture through the roads for fear of forest creatures or predators; that the petitioner is guilty of unlawfully
discharging respondent on account of her pregnancy under Article 137(2) of the Labor Code; and, that petitioner’s
reference to the previous absenteeism of respondent is misplaced because the latter had already been penalized therefor.

Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was denied on September 30, 1999.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner as illegally dismissed

Rulings:
Yes. The respondent’s sickness was pregnancy-related and, therefore, the petitioner cannot terminate respondent’s
services because in doing so, petitioner will, in effect, be violating the Labor Code which prohibits an employer to
discharge an employee on account of the latter’s pregnancy.

The undeniable fact is that during her complained absences in 1994, respondent was pregnant and suffered related
illnesses. Again, it must be stressed that respondent’s discharge by reason of absences caused by her pregnancy is
covered by the prohibition under the Labor Code. Since her last string of absences is justifiable and had been
subsequently explained, the petitioner had no legal basis in considering these absences together with her prior infractions
as gross and habitual neglect.

Libres v NLRC G.R. No. 123737. May 28, 1999

Facts: Petitioner Carlos G. Libres, an electrical engineer, was holding a managerial position with National Steel
Corporation (NSC) as Assistant Manager. He was then asked to comment regarding the charge of sexual harassment
filed against him by the VP's secretary Capiral. This was included with a waiver of his right to be heard once he didn't
comment.

On 14 August 1993 petitioner submitted his written explanation denying the accusation against him and offering to submit
himself for clarificatory interrogation.

The Management Evaluation Committee said that "touching a female subordinate's hand and shoulder, caressing her
nape and telling other people that Capiral was the one who hugged and kissed or that she responded to the sexual
advances are unauthorized acts that damaged her honor." They suspended Libres for 30 days without pay.

He filed charges against the corporation in the Labor Arbiter, but the latter held that the company acted with due process
and that his punishment was only mild.
Moreover, he assailed the NLRC decision as without basis due to the massaging of her shoulders never “discriminated
against her continued employment,” “impaired her rights and privileges under the Labor Code,” or “created a hostile,
intimidating or offensive environment.”

He claimed that he wasn't guaranteed due process because he wasn't given the right be heard. This was due to his
demand for personal confrontation not being recognized by the MEC.

In the Supreme Court, petitioner assailed the failure of the NLRC to strictly apply RA No. 7877 or the law against sexual
harassment to the instant case. Moreover, petitioner also contends that public respondent’s reliance on Villarama v.
NLRC and Golden Donuts was misplaced. He draws attention to victim Divina Gonzaga’s immediate filing of her letter of
resignation in the Villarama case as opposed to the one year delay of Capiral in filing her complaint against him. He now
surmises that the filing of the case against him was merely an afterthought and not borne out of a valid complaint, hence,
the Villarama case should have no bearing on the instant case.

Issue: Was Libres accorded due process when the MEC denied his request for personal confrontation?

Held: Yes Petition denied.

Ratio: On not strictly applying RA 7877- Republic Act No. 7877 was not yet in effect at the time of the occurrence of the
act complained of. It was still being deliberated upon in Congress when petitioner’s case was decided by the Labor
Arbiter. As a rule, laws shall have no retroactive effect unless otherwise provided, or except in a criminal case when their
application will favor the accused. Hence, the Labor Arbiter has to rely on the MEC report and the common connotation of
sexual harassment as it is generally understood by the public. Faced with the same predicament, the NLRC had to agree
with the Labor Arbiter. In so doing, the NLRC did not commit any abuse of discretion in affirming the decision of the Labor
Arbiter.

On the Villarama afterthought-it was both fitting and appropriate since it singularly addressed the issue of a managerial
employee committing sexual harassment on a subordinate. The disparity in the periods of filing the complaints in the two
(2) cases did not in any way reduce this case into insignificance. On the contrary, it even invited the attention of the Court
to focus on sexual harassment as a just and valid cause for termination. Whereas petitioner Libres was only meted a 30-
day suspension by the NLRC, Villarama, in the other case was penalized with termination. As a managerial employee,
petitioner is bound by more exacting work ethics. He failed to live up to his higher standard of responsibility when he
succumbed to his moral perversity. And when such moral perversity is perpetrated against his subordinate, he provides a
justifiable ground for his dismissal for lack of trust and confidence.

“It is the duty of every employer to protect his employees from oversexed superiors.” Public respondent therefore
is correct in its observation that the Labor Arbiter was in fact lenient in his application of the law and jurisprudence for
which petitioner must be grateful for.

As pointed out by the Solicitor General, it could be expected since Libres was Capiral’s immediate superior. Fear of
retaliation and backlash, not to forget the social humiliation and embarrassment that victims of this human frailty usually
suffer, are all realities that Capiral had to contend with. Moreover, the delay did not detract from the truth derived from the
facts. Petitioner Libres never questioned the veracity of Capiral’s allegations. In fact his narration even corroborated the
latter’s assertion in several material points. He only raised issue on the complaint’s protracted filing.

On the question of due process- Requirements were sufficiently complied with. Due process as a constitutional precept
does not always and in all situations require a trial type proceeding. Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of
the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. The essence of due process is simply to be
heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one’s side, or an opportunity to seek a
reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.

It is undeniable that petitioner was given a Notice of Investigation informing him of the charge of sexual harassment as
well as advising him to submit a written explanation regarding the matter; that he submitted his written explanation to his
superior. The VP further allowed him to air his grievance in a private session He was given more than adequate
opportunity to explain his side and air his grievances.

Personal confrontation was not necessary. Homeowner’s v NLRC - litigants may be heard through pleadings, written
explanations, position papers, memoranda or oral arguments.

Domingo vs. Rayala (596 SCRA 90)

Facts: Ma. Lourdes T. Domingo (Domingo), then Stenographic Reporter III at the NLRC, filed a Complaint for sexual
harassment against Rayala, the chairman of NLRC. She alleged that Rayala called her in his office and touched her
shoulder, part of her neck then tickled her ears. Rayala argued that his acts does not constitute sexual harassment
because for it to exist, there must be a demand, request or requirement of sexual favor.

Issue: Whether or not Rayala commit sexual harassment.

Rulings: Yes.

The law penalizing sexual harassment in our jurisdiction is RA 7877. Section 3 thereof defines work-related sexual
harassment in this wise:

Sec. 3. Work, Education or Training-related Sexual Harassment; Defined. – Work, education or training-related
sexual harassment is committed by an employer, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor,
professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another
in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from
the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of
said Act.

(a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when:

(1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or
continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms,
conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting,
segregating or classifying the employee which in a way would discriminate, deprive or diminish
employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;
(2) The above acts would impair the employee’s rights or privileges under existing labor laws; or
(3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.

Even if we were to test Rayala’s acts strictly by the standards set in Section 3, RA 7877, he would still be administratively
liable. It is true that this provision calls for a “demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor.” But it is not necessary
that the demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor be articulated in a categorical oral or written statement. It may
be discerned, with equal certitude, from the acts of the offender. Holding and squeezing Domingo’s shoulders, running his
fingers across her neck and tickling her ear, having inappropriate conversations with her, giving her money allegedly for
school expenses with a promise of future privileges, and making statements with unmistakable sexual overtones – all
these acts of Rayala resound with deafening clarity the unspoken request for a sexual favor.
REMINGTON CORP. VS. CASTANEDA
November 20, 2006 G.R. Nos. 169295-96

FACTS: Erlinda Castaneda instituted a complaint for illegal dismissal, underpayment of wages, non-payment of overtime
services, non-payment of SIL pay and non-payment of 13th month pay against Remington Industrial Sales Corp. before
the NLRC-NCR.
Erlinda alleged that she started working in 1983 as company cook for Remington, a corporation engaged in
the trading business and that she continuously worked with Remington until she was unceremoniously prevented from
reporting for work when Remington transferred to a new site.

Remington denied that it dismissed Erlinda illegally. It posited that Erlinda was a domestic helper, not a regular
employee; Erlinda worked as a cook and this job had nothing to do with Remington’s business of trading in construction
or hardware materials, steel plates and wire rope products.

In a Decision, the LA dismissed the complaint and ruled that the respondent was a domestic helper under the personal
service of Antonio Tan (the Managing Director), finding that her work as a cook was not usually necessary and
desirable in the ordinary course of trade and business of the petitioner corporation, and that the latter did not exercise
control over her functions. On the issue of illegal dismissal, the labor arbiter found that it was the respondent who refused
to go with the family of Antonio Tan when the corporation transferred office and that, therefore, respondent could not have
been illegally dismissed.

ISSUE: is Castaneda a regular employee or a domestic servant?


HELD: The petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed Decisions of the CA are AFFIRMED

She is a REGULAR EMPLOYEE

In Apex Mining Company, Inc. v. NLRC, this Court held that a househelper in the staff houses of an industrial
company was a regular employee of the said firm. We ratiocinated that:
Under Rule XIII, Section 1(b), Book 3 of the Labor Code, as amended, the terms “househelper” or “domestic servant” are
defined as follows:

“The term ‘househelper’ as used herein is synonymous to the term ‘domestic servant’ and shall refer to any person,
whether male or female, who renders services in and about the employer’s home and which services are usually
necessary or desirable for the maintenance and enjoyment thereof, and ministers exclusively to the personal comfort
and enjoyment of the employer’s family.”
The foregoing definition clearly contemplates such househelper or domestic servant who is employed in the employer’s
home to minister exclusively to the personal comfort and enjoyment of the employer’s family. Such definition covers
family drivers, domestic servants, laundry women, yayas, gardeners, houseboys and similar househelps.

The criteria is the personal comfort and enjoyment of the family of the employer in the home of said employer. While it
may be true that the nature of the work of a househelper, domestic servant or laundrywoman in a home or in a company
staffhouse may be similar in nature, the difference in their circumstances is that in the former instance they are actually
serving the family while in the latter case, whether it is a corporation or a single proprietorship engaged in business or
industry or any other agricultural or similar pursuit, service is being rendered in the staffhouses or within the
premises of the business of the employer. In such instance, they are employees of the company or employer in the
business concerned entitled to the privileges of a regular employee.
Petitioner contends that it is only when the househelper or domestic servant is assigned to certain aspects of the business
of the employer that such househelper or domestic servant may be considered as such an employee. The Court finds no
merit in making any such distinction. The mere fact that the househelper or domestic servant is working within the
premises of the business of the employer and in relation to or in connection with its business, as in its
staffhouses for its guest or even for its officers and employees, warrants the conclusion that such househelper
or domestic servant is and should be considered as a regular employee of the employer and NOT as a mere
family househelper or domestic servant as contemplated in Rule XIII, Section 1(b), Book 3 of the Labor Code, as
amended.
In the case at bar, the petitioner itself admits in its position paper that respondent worked at the company
premises and her duty was to cook and prepare its employees’ lunch and merienda. Clearly, the situs, as well as the
nature of respondent’s work as a cook, who caters not only to the needs of Mr. Tan and his family but also to that of the
petitioner’s employees, makes her fall squarely within the definition of a regular employee under the doctrine enunciated
in the Apex Mining case. That she works within company premises, and that she does not cater exclusively to the
personal comfort of Mr. Tan and his family, is reflective of the existence of the petitioner’s right of CONTROL over
her functions, which is the PRIMARY indicator of the existence of an employer-employee relationship.
Atty. Susan M. Aquino vs. Hon. Ernesto D. Acosta
A.M. No. CTA-01-1. April 2, 2002

Facts: On November 21, 2000, she reported for work after her vacation in the U.S., bringing gifts for the three judges of
the CTA, including respondent. In the afternoon of the same day, he entered her room and greeted her by shaking her
hand. Suddenly, he pulled her towards him and kissed her on her cheek.

On December 28, 2000, while respondent was on official leave, he called complainant by phone, saying he will get
something in her office. Shortly thereafter, he entered her room, shook her hand and greeted her, "Merry Christmas."
Thereupon, he embraced her and kissed her. She was able to free herself by slightly pushing him away.
On the first working day in January, 2001, respon
dent phoned complainant, asking if she could see him in his chambers in order to discuss some matters. When
complainant arrived there, respondent tried to kiss her but she was able to evade his sexual attempt.
Weeks later, after the Senate approved the proposed bill expanding the jurisdiction of the CTA, while complainant and her
companions were congratulating and kissing each other, respondent suddenly placed his arms around her shoulders and
kissed her.
In the morning of February 14, 2001, respondent called complainant, requesting her to go to his office. She then asked
Ruby Lanuza, a clerk in the Records Section, to accompany her. Fortunately, when they reached his chambers,
respondent had left.
The last incident happened the next day. At around 8:30 a.m., respondent called complainant and asked her to see him in
his office to discuss the Senate bill on the CTA. She again requested Ruby to accompany her. The latter agreed but
suggested that they should act as if they met by accident in respondents office. Ruby then approached the secretary’s
table which was separated from respondent’s office by a transparent glass. For her part, complainant sat in front of
respondent's table and asked him what he wanted to know about the Senate bill. Respondent seemed to be at a loss for
words and kept glancing at Ruby who was searching for something at the secretary's desk. Forthwith, respondent
approached Ruby, asked her what she was looking for and stepped out of the office. When he returned, Ruby said she
found what she was looking for and left. Respondent then approached complainant saying, me gusto akong gawin sa iyo
kahapon pa. Thereupon, he tried to grab her. Complainant instinctively raised her hands to protect herself but respondent
held her arms tightly, pulled her towards him and kissed her. She pushed him away, then slumped on a chair trembling.
Meantime, respondent sat on his chair and covered his face with his hands. Thereafter, complainant left crying and locked
herself inside a comfort room. After that incident, respondent went to her office and tossed a note stating, sorry, it won’t
happen again.

Issue: Whether or not Judge Acosta is guilty of sexually harassment.

Held: No, Judge Acosta is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is exonerated of the charges against him and is advised to
be more circumspect in his deportment.

Rationale: “A mere casual buss on the cheek is not a sexual conduct or favor and does not fall within the purview of
sexual harassment under R.A. No. 7877. Section 3 (a) thereof provides, to wit:

'Sec. 3. Work, Education or Training - related Sexual Harassment Defined. - Work, education or training-related sexual
harassment is committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor,
professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a
work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other,
regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.

a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when:

1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of
said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions or privileges; or the
refusal to grant sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in anyway would
discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employees;

2) The above acts would impair the employee's right or privileges under existing labor laws; or

3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.'

"Clearly, under the foregoing provisions, the elements of sexual harassment are as follows:

1) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or
any other person has authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another;
2) The authority, influence or moral ascendancy exists in a working environment;

3) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, or any
other person having authority, influence or moral ascendancy makes a demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor.”
Indeed, from the records on hand, there is no showing that respondent judge demanded, requested or required any
sexual favor from complainant in exchange for favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotion or privileges
specified under Section 3 of R.A. 7877. Nor did he, by his actuations, violate the Canons of Judicial Ethics or the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

Duncan Assoc. of Detailman-PTGWO vs. Glaxo Wellcome Phils., Inc.


438 SCRA 343

FACTS: Tecson was hired by Glaxo as a medical representative on Oct. 24, 1995. Contract of employment signed by
Tecson stipulates, among others, that he agrees to study and abide by the existing company rules; to disclose to
management any existing future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with co-employees or employees with competing
drug companies and should management find that such relationship poses a possible conflict of interest, to resign from
the company. Company's Code of Employee Conduct provides the same with stipulation that management may transfer
the employee to another department in a non-counterchecking position or preparation for employment outside of the
company after 6 months.

Tecson was initially assigned to market Glaxo's products in the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte area and entered into a
romantic relationship with Betsy, an employee of Astra, Glaxo's competition. Before getting married, Tecson's District
Manager reminded him several times of the conflict of interest but marriage took place in Sept. 1998. In Jan. 1999,
Tecson's superiors informed him of conflict of interest. Tecson asked for time to comply with the condition (that either he
or Betsy resign from their respective positions). Unable to comply with condition, Glaxo transferred Tecson to the Butuan-
Surigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area. After his request against transfer was denied, Tecson brought the matter to
Glaxo's Grievance Committee and while pending, he continued to act as medical representative in the Camarines Sur-
Camarines Norte sales area. On Nov. 15, 2000, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board ruled that Glaxo's policy
was valid.

ISSUE: Whether or not the policy of a pharmaceutical company prohibiting its employees from marrying employees of any
competitor company is valid

RULING:

On Equal Protection

Glaxo has a right to guard its trade secrets, manufacturing formulas, marketing strategies, and other confidential
programs and information from competitors. The prohibition against personal or marital relationships with employees of
competitor companies upon Glaxo's employees is reasonable under the circumstances because relationships of that
nature might compromise the interests of the company. That Glaxo possesses the right to protect its economic interest
cannot be denied.

It is the settled principle that the commands of the equal protection clause are addressed only to the state or those acting
under color of its authority. Corollarily, it has been held in a long array of US Supreme Court decisions that the equal
protection clause erects to shield against merely privately conduct, however, discriminatory or wrongful.

The company actually enforced the policy after repeated requests to the employee to comply with the policy. Indeed the
application of the policy was made in an impartial and even-handed manner, with due regard for the lot of the employee.

On Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal is defined as a quitting, an involuntary resignation resorted to when continued employment
becomes impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; when there is demotion in rank, or diminution in pay; or when a clear
discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to the employee. None of these conditions
are present in the instant case.

HELD: The challenged policy has been implemented by Glaxo impartially and disinterestedly for a long period of time. In
the case at bar, the record shows that Glaxo gave Tecson several chances to eliminate the conflict of interest brought
about by his relationship with Betsy, but he never availed of any of them.

DISPOSITIVE: "WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit."