Whichever way the public prosecutor disposes of a complaint, the finding does not bind the labor tribunal.

 In the first assignment of error, Lynvil contends that the filing of a criminal case before the Office of the Prosecutor is sufficient basis for a valid termination of employment based on serious misconduct and/or loss of trust and confidence relying on Nasipit Lumber Company v. NLRC.[29]

Nasipit is about a security guard who was charged with qualified theft which charge was dismissed by the Office of the Prosecutor.   However, despite the dismissal of the complaint, he was still terminated from his employment on the ground of loss of confidence. We ruled that proof beyond reasonable doubt of an employee’s misconduct is not required when loss of confidence is the ground for dismissal.  It is sufficient if the employer has “some basis” to lose confidence or that the employer has reasonable ground to believe or to entertain the moral conviction that the employee concerned is responsible for the misconduct and that the nature of his participation therein rendered him absolutely unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded by his position.[30] It added that the dropping of the qualified theft charges against the respondent is not binding upon a labor tribunal.[31]

In Nicolas v. National Labor Relations Commission,[32] we held that a criminal conviction is not necessary to find just cause for employment termination. Otherwise stated, an employee’s acquittal in a criminal case, especially one that is grounded on the existence of reasonable doubt, will not preclude a determination in a labor case that he is guilty of acts inimical to the employer’s interests.[33] In the reverse, the finding of probable cause is not followed by automatic adoption of such finding by the labor tribunals.

In other words, whichever way the public prosecutor disposes of a complaint, the finding does not bind the labor tribunal.



About Erineus

Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
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