• Employees can file constructive dismissal cases vs employer

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    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I was hired as a team leader (supervisory level position) in a BPO company here in Taguig City. After three months of performing the duties and responsibilities of a team leader, the HR informed me that the team I was handling will be dissolved. While I continued to report for work, I felt that I was demoted, because I started performing a job which is for an entry level position. I felt that my situation worsened when I heard that the personnel that I previously handled and I now have the same entry level positions.

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    Someone advised me to file a complaint considering that there is already a constructive dismissal in my present situation. Is there a ground for me to file the said complaint?
    Helen

    Dear Helen,
    The Supreme Court has explained and enumerated the indices of constructive dismissal in the case of Morales vs Harbour Center Port Terminal, Inc. (G.R. No. 174208, January 25, 2012), thus:

    “Constructive dismissal exists where there is cessation of work because “continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable or unlikely, as an offer involving a demotion in rank or a diminution in pay” and other benefits. Aptly called a dismissal in disguise or an act amounting to dismissal but made to appear as if it were not, constructive dismissal may, likewise, exist if an act of clear discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes so unbearable on the part of the employee that it could foreclose any choice by him except to forego his continued employment. In cases of a transfer of an employee, the rule is settled that the employer is charged with the burden of proving that its conduct and action are for valid and legitimate grounds such as genuine business necessity and that the transfer is not unreasonable, inconvenient or prejudicial to the employee. If the employer cannot overcome this burden of proof, the employee’s transfer shall be tantamount to unlawful constructive dismissal.”

    In your situation, it is clear that there is already a constructive dismissal although there is no diminution of salary or benefits. You were hired to perform supervisory work; however, the management assigned you to a position which is supposed to be performed by employees for entry level positions. Under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10396, it is required that you file first your complaint against your employer before the Single Entry Assistance Desk (SEAD), in order for you to undergo the compulsory conciliation-mediation proceeding.

    Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

    We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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