Casual employee

Dear Atty. Vlad,

I am a waiter in a restaurant in Manila. My employer asked me to sign a contract good for four months only. I served Tuesdays to Sundays and I was also not allowed to work in other restaurants.

After my contract ended, it was renewed five more times. However, after my last contract ended, my employer did not renew my services anymore since they will now hire full-time waiters. Is this legal and what can I do to protect my rights?



Dear Solomon,

The Supreme Court has provided an answer to your case. In the case of Ariel Espina, et al. vs Highlands Camp, et al., G.R. 220935 and G.R. 219868, 28 July 2020, the Court, citing the case of Claret School of Quezon City vs Sinday (G.R. 226358, 9 October 2019), rule, to wit:

“Thus, in Claret, the Court held that the repeated hiring of employees under a contract less than the six-month probationary period to circumvent regular employment is contrary to law, viz. Where from the circumstances it is apparent that the period has been imposed to preclude the acquisition of tenurial security by the employee, then it should be struck down as being contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, and public policy. The pernicious practice of having employees, workers and laborers, engaged short of the normal six-month probationary period of employment, and, thereafter, to be hired on a day-to-day basis, mocks the law.”

“Indeed, Highlands’ cyclical scheme of hiring and rehiring petitioners year after year manifests its intent to prevent them from attaining regular employment. Highlands failed to prove that petitioners freely entered into agreements with it to perform services for a specified period or season. In fact, there is nothing on record to show there was any agreement at all between Highlands and each of the herein petitioners. Respondents never presented petitioners’ supposed contracts of employment. In the absence of proof showing that petitioners knowingly agreed on a fixed or seasonal term of employment, we uphold the findings of the labor tribunals that petitioners are regular employees.”

From the cited case, you have been illegally dismissed. As such, you may file a case against your employer, for illegal dismissal and regularization before the National Labor Relations Commission NCR office located at Bookman Building along Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.

I hope I was able to help you based on the facts you stated.

Atty. Vlad del Rosario

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