Jardin v. NLRC G.R. No. 119268 February 23, 2000 NATURE: • Special civil action for certiorari seeks to annul the decision of public respondent in which denied the petitioners motion for reconsideration. FACTS: 1. Petitioners were taxi drivers of private respondent, Philjama International, Inc., a domestic corporation engaged in the operation of “Goodman Taxi”. • Petitioners drive the taxicabs ever other day on a 24-hour work schedule under the boundary system. • Earns an average of P400.00 daily 2. Private respondents deduct petitioners daily earning by P30.00 for the washing of the taxi units. 3. Petitioner believes that such action by the PR is illegal so they form a labor union to protect their rights and interests. • In effect, PR upon learning their plans refused to let petitioners drive their taxicabs when they report for work starting Aug. 6, 1991 and on succeeding days. 4. Petitioners filed with the labor arbiter a complaint against PR for unfair labor, illegal dismissal and illegal deduction of washing fees>>>DENIED lack of merit. • Appeal: NLRC reversed and set aside the decision of Labor arbiter. That petitioners are employees of PR and such dismissal must be for just cause and after due process. 5. PR 1st motion for recon>>>DENIED. 6. 2nd recon granted: that petitioners and PR have no employer-employee relationship. 7. Petitioners sought reconsideration>>>DENIED. Hence this instant petition. ISSUE/S: 1. Whether the NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting 2 nd reconsideration of private respondents? YES 2. Whether employer-employee relationship exists in boundary system? YES RULING: 1. Private respondent (corp.) had already exhausted administrative remedy by filing the 1 st motion for recon (which was denied) in which the labor tribunal had the ample opportunity to rectify errors or mistakes before rendering decision. When the PR filed for 2nd recon the public respondents should have denied it in accordance with rule 7 Sec.14 of its New Rules of Procedure, which allows only one motion for reconsideration from the same party. a. Rationale for 1 motion of recon: to assist the parties in obtaining an expeditious and inexpensive settlement of labor cases. 2.
Court used the Four Fold Test: (1) the selection and engagement of the employees (2) the payment of wages (3) the power of dismissal (4) the power of control the employees conduct (most important)
The court ruled that owners/operators and drivers have employer-employee relationship because the former exercise supervision and control over the latter. The management of the business is in the hands of the owner. o The owner as the holder of the certificate of public convenience must see to it that the driver follows the route prescribed by the franchising authority and the rules promulgated as regards its operation. The fact that the drivers do not receive fixed wages but only excess in boundary is not sufficient to withdraw employer-employee relationship. Hence, petitioners as employees of PR can only be dismissed for just cause and with due process. Petition is granted. Private respondent were ordered to reinstate petitioners to their positions and likewise ordered to pay petitioners their full backwages.