Telex is not equivalent to tender of resignation.

Article 285 of the Labor Code recognizes termination by the employee of the employment contract by “serving written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance.” Given that provision, the law contemplates the requirement of a written notice of resignation. In the absence of a written resignation, it is safe to presume that the employer terminated the seafarers. In this case,  the Supreme Court found the dismissal of De Gracia, et al. to be illegal since Cosmoship merely sent a telex to Skippers, the local manning agency, claiming that De Gracia, et al. were repatriated because the latter voluntarily pre-terminated their contracts.

Let me quote the SC in toto:

In this case, there was no written notice furnished to De Gracia, et al. regarding the cause of their dismissal. Cosmoship furnished a written notice (telex) to Skippers, the local manning agency, claiming that De Gracia, et al. were repatriated because the latter voluntarily pre-terminated their contracts. This telex was given credibility and weight by the Labor Arbiter and NLRC in deciding that there was pre-termination of the employment contract “akin to resignation” and no illegal dismissal. However, as correctly ruled by the CA, the telex message is “a biased and self-serving document that does not satisfy the requirement of substantial evidence.” If, indeed, De Gracia, et al. voluntarily pre-terminated their contracts, then De Gracia, et al. should have submitted their written resignations.

Article 285 of the Labor Code recognizes termination by the employee of the employment contract by “serving written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance.” Given that provision, the law contemplates the requirement of a written notice of resignation. In the absence of a written resignation, it is safe to presume that the employer terminated the seafarers. In addition, the telex message relied upon by the Labor Arbiter and NLRC bore conflicting dates of 22 January 1998 and 22 January 1999, giving doubt to the veracity and authenticity of the document. In 22 January 1998, De Gracia, et al. were not even employed yet by the foreign principal. For these reasons, the dismissal of De Gracia, et al. was illegal.

Skippers United Pacific, Inc. and Skippers Maritime Services, Inc. Ltd. vs. Nathaniel Doza, et al., G.R. No. 175558. February 8, 2012.

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2012/february2012/175558.html

About Erineus

Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
This entry was posted in Illegal Dismissal, Labor Law, Resignation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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