Sunday, October 30, 2022

Ma. Socorro Mandapat vs. Add Force Personnel Services, Inc.

Ma. Socorro Mandapat
Add Force Personnel Services, Inc. 

G.R. NO. 180285
July 6, 2010


Petitioner was hired as sales and marketing manager for respondent. Respondent claims that during her stint as sales manager, petitioner failed to close a single deal or contract. She also issued several proposals to clients which were disadvantageous to respondent and sent out communications with erroneous data and computations, submitted fictitious reports and reimbursement slips; and consistently failed to submit her reports on time. 

These infractions were sent to petitioner in a show-cause order. Petitioner was also preventively suspended and was asked to turn over pending tasks and to leave the office premises. Accompanied by her letter in response to the show-cause memorandum, petitioner tendered her resignation.

Petitioner filed a complaint for constructive dismissal with the labor arbiter. The LA ruled in favor of petitioner. The NLRC affirmed with modification the labor arbiter's findings. The CA ruled that petitioner was not constructively dismissed but chose to resign from her job. 


Whether petitioner was constructively dismissed. 


No. The Supreme Court found no evidence to support discrimination which led to constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal exist when an act of clear discrimination, insensibility or disdain by an employer has become so unbearable to the employee leaving him with no option but to forego with his continued employment. The Supreme Court held that preventive suspension may be legally imposed against an employee whose alleged violation is the subject of an investigation. The purpose of his suspension is to prevent him from causing harm or injury to the company as well as to his fellow employees. 

Sec. 8 and Sec. 9 of Rule XXIII, Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, as amended by D. O. No. 9 Series of 1997 states that: Sec. 8, Preventive Suspension. The employer may place the worker concerned under preventive suspension only if his continued employment poses a serious and imminent threat to the life or property of the employer or his co-workers. Sec. 9. Period of suspension, shall not last longer than thirty (30) days. The employer shall thereafter reinstate the worker in his former or in a substantially equivalent position or the employer may extend the period of suspension provided that during the period of extension, he pays the wages and other benefit due to the worker in such case, the worker shall not be bound to reimburse the amount paid to him during the extension if the employer decides, after completion of the hearing to dismiss the worker. When preventive suspension exceeds the maximum period allowed without reinstating the employee either by actual or payroll reinstatement or when preventive suspension is for indefinite period, only then will constructive dismissal set in. 

While no period was mentioned in the show-cause memorandum, it was wrong for petitioner to infer that her suspension was for an indefinite period. The inclusion of the phrase "during the course of investigation would lead to a conclusion that such suspension in fact has a duration which could not be more than "thirty" days as mandated by law. And as the CA correctly observed, the suspension has been rendered moot by petitioner's resignation tendered a day after the suspension was made effective. Petitioner denied posing a danger on the lives of the officers or employees of respondent or their properties but the SC said that respondent is correct. Indeed, as sales manager, petitioner had the power and authority to enter into contracts that would bind the respondent. Respondent has every right to protect its assets and operations pending investigation of petitioner. 

Mandapat's bare allegation that she was coerced into resigning can hardly be given credence in the absence of clear evidence.

The SC found no reason to disturb the CA decision that petitioner resigned and was not constructively dismissed. 

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