South East International Rattan Inc v. Jesus J. Coming (G.R. No. 186621)

Facts:

Petitioner South East International Rattan is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing and exporting furniture to various countries. Respondent Coming was hired by petitioner as Sizing Machine Operator whose work is initially compensated on ‘pakiao basis’ but sometime was fixed per day and a work schedule of 8:00am to 5:00pm. Without any apparent reason, his employment was interrupted as he was told by petitioners to resume work in 2 months time but was never called back. Respondent thus filed a complaint before the regional arbitration branch. The Labor Arbiter ruled respondent as a regular employee of petitioner SEIRI but on appeal, was reversed by the NLRC. CA then reversed the NLRC decision and ruled that there existed an employer-employee relationship between petitioners and respondent.

Issue:

Whether or not there is employer-employee relationship between petitioner and respondent.

Ruling: YES.

We affirm the CA.

To ascertain the existence of employer-employee relationship jurisprudence has invariably adhered to the four-fold test, to wit: (1) the selection and engagement of the employee; (2) the payment of wages; (3) the power of dismissal; and (4) the power to control the employee’s conduct, or the so-called “control test.”

x x x As to the “control test”, the following facts indubitably reveal that respondents wielded control over the work performance of petitioner, to wit: (1) they required him to work within the company premises; (2) they obliged petitioner to report every day of the week and tasked him to usually perform the same job; (3) they enforced the observance of definite hours of work from 8 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock in the afternoon; (4) the mode of payment of petitioner’s salary was under their discretion, at first paying him on pakiao basis and thereafter, on daily basis; (5) they implemented company rules and regulations; (6) [Estanislao] Agbay directly paid petitioner’s salaries and controlled all aspects of his employment and (7) petitioner rendered work necessary and desirable in the business of the respondent company.

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