NLRC orders VXI to reinstate illegally dismissed employee
In his position paper, the complainant alleged that he was hired by the Respondent sometime on October 2010 and resigned from his job between March and April 2011. On October 2011, VXI Global Holdings Inc offered him a job and was set for an interview on December 2011. He was rehired by the Respondent as a sales representative on January 16, 2012. He was assigned to the Direct TV account and his job was to sell products of Direct TV customers in the United States. He became a regular employee on May 16, 2012. He was then transferred to the account of Simplexity still as a sales representative. The products sold by Simplexity are cellular phone and accessories catering to customers based in the United States.
On August 29, 2012, he received a Notice of Preventive Suspension. The notice states that he allegedly committed fraud which is in violation of the 2012 Company’s Code of Conduct and Discipline. Noticeable the letter did not state how many days he is suspended. His supervisor informed him that he will not be paid during the days of his suspension. However, after 30 days he never received a notice of conference regarding the hearing of his complaint, neither did he receive any notice as to how long his suspension would last. He was called to the office only on October 1, 2012 and when he arrived he was surprised that he was being terminated because he allegedly committed Fraud. The alleged commission of Fraud by him stemmed from his phone conversation with a customer.
The Respondent claims that he pitched additional accessories to the phone that is being ordered by the caller without the latter’s approval. According to the Respondent, he committed fraud against the caller which warrants his termination from his job. This is contrary to what was taught by the Respondent and his other co-employees during their training. During their training, the new employees were taught they can pitch additional accessories even if there is no confirmation coming from the client/caller. Moreover, in the present case, even assuming that the said action is a viable offense, the fraud has not been consummated. This is because the transaction between him and the caller has been interrupted and therefore not finalized. A transcript of the between him and the caller clearly showed that the caller did not finalize his order through phone. Therefore, Fraud has not been committed by him to warrant his dismissal. Thinking that he was illegally dismissed, he is asking for backwages to be computed from the time he was preventively suspended on August 29, 2012.
VXI Global Holdings Inc, in their position paper contended that the Arvin was hired as a Global Agent on January 19, 2012. On August 29, 2012, an incident report with supporting documents has been filed against the complainant for violation of the 2012 Code of Conduct and Discipline, more particularly on Fraud, to wit:
“Rule 7: Integrity Section 30- pertains to any intentional deception committed by an employee against another in order to gain, which results to the damage or detriment of a co-employee, or of the company or any of its visitors, customers, clients, business associates, representatives”
On August 24, 2012, the complainant was issued a Notice to Explain where he was given a period of 5 calendar days to submit his written explanation. A copy of the said Notice to Explain was duly received on August 25, 2012. Subsequently, a Notice of Preventive Suspension was issued to the complainant. The said notice contained the details of the administrative hearing set by the management. The complainant was able to submit his written explanation and actively participated during the administrative hearing. Thereafter, the case was submitted for resolution. After a thorough and judicious review of all the facts and evidence presented, a resolution was issued by the management finding the complainant guilty of all the charges. Thus, the penalty of termination of employment was meted out. On October 5, 2012, the complainant filed an instant complaint assailing the legality of his dismissal with money claims.
Based on the pieces of evidence submitted the complainant committed a clear case of fraud. Starting from the data presented by the quality team, the administrative hearing conducted to the complainant’s written explanation, the following materials were considered:
- That, although there’s no direct admission of guilt; his statements such as; “1) alam kong may point pa rin ako kahit ma cancel yung order…”, “2) naghahabol ako ng stats and incentives noon…” “3) the customer did not say yes right away when I asked him… there was an idle time… when he called the customer’s attention by saying “Hello” the customer said “yes” – indicative that the customer did NOT approve of putting as much as 8 pcs. Of Bluetooth headsets and 8 Car but rather just as response to let his presence known, and ultimately, “4) Arvin did not complete the recap section”
- That, Arvin claims to have had “System Issues”. That, the work station he was assigned to was defective. In addition, he claims to have had confusion on what to offer, but did not escalate nor sought the attention of his TL, other TLs and not even his group manager.”
- That, “he just followed what they were taught in training” to “help his team mates boost their stats, by pitching in more accessories” This proves to be inconclusive
The Respondent have clearly established by substantial evidence that the complainant was validly dismissed. As discussed above, the Respondent VXI merely exercised a valid management prerogative in terminating the complainant’s employment since the latter was proven to have committed the alleged infraction. The actions taken by the management were not resorted to in bad faith or tainted with malice.
Records show that the complainant was dismissed because of Fraud for “Pitching in more accessories” on the cell phone unit ordered by the customer without the customer’s permission. The complainant reasoned out that he cannot be charged of fraud since the transaction with the customer has not been consummated.
The complainant indeed committed fraud however, there are circumstances that may be considered in mitigating the offense such as;
- The transaction was not consummated
- absence of derogatory record of the employee
Thus the penalty of dismissal imposed by the Respondent was not commensurate to the gravity of the offense charged. Therefore, NLRC directed VXI Global Holdings Inc to reinstate the complainant to his former position but without payment of backwages and the complainant to report back to work.
This may or may not be controlling at the time of this writing.
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