G.R. No. 123880 – 303 SCRA 540 – Labor Law – Labor Standards – Working Conditions and Rest Periods
Post-Employment – Illegal Dismissal
Eddie Damalerio was a roomboy for Maranaw Hotels. One day, he was cleaning the room of one of the guests when he saw the private stuff of the guest scattered all over the floor. So he took it upon himself to pick those up and put them in the guest’s bag but then while he was doing so the guest (Jamie Glaser) entered the room and saw Damalerio’s hand inside Glaser’s bag. Glaser filed a complaint against Damalerio. After investigation by the hotel, Damalerio was dismissed.
ISSUE: Whether or not Damalerio was illegally dismissed.
HELD: Yes. Although it was not completely proper for Damalerio to be touching the things of a hotel guest while cleaning the hotel rooms, personal belongings of hotel guests being off-limits to roomboys, under the attendant facts and circumstances, the dismissal of Damalerio was unwarranted. To be sure, the investigation held by the hotel security people did not unearth enough evidence of culpability. It bears repeating that Glaser lost nothing. Although Maranaw Hotels may have reasons to doubt the honesty and trustworthiness of Damalerio, as a result of what happened, absent sufficient proof of guilt, Damalerio, who is a rank-and-file employee, cannot be legally dismissed.
As for the service charges received by Maranaw Hotels during the period where he was not able to work he’s entitled to the shares therefrom. But if he chooses not to be reinstated by reason of the estranged relations with the hotel, he’s entitled to separation pay but without the shares from the service charges anymore.