Vincent Michael Banta Moll Vs. Convergys Philippines, Inc., et al.
G.R. No. 253715 | April 28, 2021
FACTS OF THE CASE
On May 4, 2015, respondents hired him as Sales Associate I assigned at Eton Centris Office, Quezon City.
Per company policy and procedure, respondents regularly assigned accounts to the company’s sales associates, providing them their respective schedules of activity and responsibilities. But beginning March 25, 2018, petitioner no longer received any schedule from respondents.
Petitioner went to the Eton Centris Office and confirmed that indeed, he was no longer given any new assignment. He attempted to report the matter to the Human Resources Department (HRD) for clarification, but he was refused entry to its office.
On March 24, 2018, respondents decided to transfer excess manpower from the Eton Centris Office, including petitioner, to the U-verse Program at the Glorietta Office.
Petitioner initially acceded to the transfer and, in fact, attended the first day of the training on March 26, 2018. But thereafter, he no longer reported for work. Petitioner instead asked his team leader if he could just resign because the new office was too far from his residence.
For petitioner’s failure to respond to his team leader’s calls and messages, they issued two (2) Return to Work Orders (RTWO) dated May 29, 2018 and June 2, 2018 which were duly received by petitioner on May 30, 2018 and June 4, 2018, respectively. Instead of complying with the RTWOs, however, petitioner hastily filed this case.
Whether or not Vincent Michael Banta Moll was illegally dismissed
The petition is meritorious:
- Petitioner sufficiently established the fact of his dismissal
- There was no actual transfer of petitioner to the Glorietta Office
RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT
1. The Court takes judicial notice of the call center agents’ varying work hours, that they do not have fixed work schedules.
He peacefully reported for work for three (3) years until March 24, 2018, when he was suddenly not given any work schedule anymore.
Here, petitioner attempted to raise the issue concerning the lack of assignment before the HRD but to no avail. As it was, he was denied entry to its office. Days, weeks, passed but petitioner was never given any new tour of duty. Under these circumstances, can we fault petitioner for assuming that he was summarily dismissed? Surely, we cannot.
Valiant Machinery and Metal Corp. v. NLRC23 is instructive. There, the Court categorically held that the employer therein was guilty of illegal dismissal for barring respondents from entering the company premises.
2. Convergys failed to adduce any office document, be it in the form of a memorandum, notice, letter, email, or any form of communication pertaining to petitioner’s supposed transfer to the Glorietta Office.
We do not believe that petitioner acted in defiance of a legitimate business order for there was no transfer order to accept, refuse, or defy in the first place. Petitioner simply woke up one day wondering if he was still affiliated with Convergys. Convergys, who did not look for petitioner’s whereabouts for two (2) months cannot claim insubordination on the part of the latter who, based on the surrounding circumstances, honestly believed he was already summarily dismissed.
Considering that petitioner sufficiently established the fact of his dismissal, the burden shifted to Convergys to prove that such dismissal was for just or authorized cause. As it was, however, Convergys never offered any justification therefor. The Court, therefore, finds Convergys guilty of illegal dismissal for summarily dismissing petitioner, sans just or authorized cause, and for lack of due process.