Labor Case: Dacer, John Ryan Vs. Sutherland Global Services
NLRC-NCR Labor Arbiter finds Call Center agent’s suspension illegal due to BPO company’s failure to submit a position paper.
In a Decision on May 31, 2013, an NCR Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of a call center agent against his employer, Sutherland Global Services.
The complainant, John Ryan Dacer, filed a complaint for illegal suspension, non-payment of salaries, holiday premium, rest day premium with claims of damages, and attorney’s fees against Sutherland Global Services and/or Shridhaar Aiyer and Leo Navarro.
The complainant was hired by the company as a technical consultant. As a technical consultant, he’s responsible for the maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of all computers, laptops and other technological equipment.
In his position paper, the complainant alleges that on October 13, 2012, he received a memo from his team manager charging him for alleged call avoidance incidents that took place on September 4, 5, 9, and 10, 2012. In compliance therewith, complainant claims that he submitted his written explanation and thereafter, an administrative hearing was scheduled for October 31, 2012. In the investigation, the complainant asserts that he gave truthful explanations of what transpired and was advised to wait for the result by the team manager. As no result was given to the complainant he insisted that he followed up his case and on December 17, 2012, he reported to work at around 8:00AM only to be told by another team manager that he had no work schedule and advised to wait for his team manager, who was then absent on that day. While on January 2, 2013, the complainant said that his team manager called him up and asked him for his alleged failure to work as he was being expected to work on December 31, 2012. Thus, on January 3, 2013, the complainant finally reported for work but on the said date, complainant insists that he was given a copy of the result of the hearing held on October 31, 2013, suspending him from work, from December 17-28, 2012. Because of his forced absence, complainant claims that he was unable to receive salaries from December 17, 2012 up to January 3, 2013, December bonus, and Holiday premium, which he now seeks to recover through the filing of this case. Wherein, he contends that he was illegally suspended.
Summons together with a copy of the complaint was duly served on the respondents and as a matter of fact, respondents were duly represented by counsel in the hearings of February 27, 2013, March 13, and 20, 2013. However, as the parties failed to conclude any acceptable settlement, they were directed by the NLRC to file their respective position papers. As it was only the complainant who complied with such directive as the respondents failed to file the required position paper despite ample opportunity to do so and for reasons only known to the respondents.
“The rule is well settled that in illegal dismissal and illegal suspension cases, the employer has the burden of proof to show that the dismissal or suspension of the employee is for any of the just or authorized causes provided by law and that the latter is afforded his right to due process prior to the intended dismissal or suspension.”
“In the instant case, this office finds that the respondents miserably failed to discharge such evidentiary burden. As discuss herein, the parties were directed by this office (NLRC) to file their respective position papers but only the complainant complied. Respondents failed to file one despite the directive of this office and ample opportunity to do so.”
“Wherefore, premises considered, judgement is hereby rendered declaring the suspension of the complainant ILLEGAL. As such, the respondents Sutherland Global Services and/or Shridhar Aiyer and Leo Navarro are hereby ordered to PAY the complainant his salaries while under suspension in the sum of ₱9,307.65 plus the amount of 10% thereof as attorney’s fees.