CA junks GMA plea to reverse NLRC ruling in labor case
MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the petition filed by network giant GMA-7 seeking a reversal of the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) to declare their 96 “talents” as regular employees.
In a 19-page ruling written by Associate Justice Zenaida Galapate-Laguilles, the CA Special Fourteenth Division said GMA-7’s petition is “unmeritorious.”
The appeals court ruled that the “talents” of the television network are regular employees. The CA noted that GMA-7 itself said that the “talents” are part of the production crew. Thus, the CA pointed out that the “talents” perform functions that are necessary and essential to GMA-7.
“Petitioner GMA’s goal was to ensure excellent delivery of its programs to the viewing public. This could not have been achieved had it not been for the skills of the private respondents,” the CA ruling stated.
The CA also used the “four-fold test,” in affirming the NLRC on the existence of employer-employee relationship between GMA-7 and the “talents.” The four-fold test are the following: 1. the selection and engagement of the employee; 2. the payment of wages; 3. the power of dismissal; and 4. the employer’s power to control the employee on the means and methods by which the work is accomplished.
“There is no denying that under the Talent Agreement petitioner GMA has the power to discharge private respondents should it find their work failed to meet its standards and the latter are highly dependent on the former for continued work,” the CA stressed.
Furthermore, the CA said the respondents were subjected to the control and supervision of GMA, “a fact which is regarded as the most crucial and determination indicator of the presence or absence of an employer-employee relationship.”
The appeals court added that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC in issuing a decision declaring that the “talents” are regular employees.
“In this case, it is not shown that the NLRC exercised its judgment whimsically, arbitrarily or despotically by reason of passion and hostility considering that its findings are supported by substantial evidence,” the appellate court explained.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Mario Lopez and Gabriel Robeniol.
Reached for comment, GMA-7 through its Corporate Affairs and Communication said they have not received a copy of the decision. /ee
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