Case Title: STARLITE VS NLRC
G.R. No.: G.R. No. 78491
Date: March 16, 1989
Petitioner: Starlite Plastic Industrial Corporation
Respondent: National Labor Relations Commission and Edgar Gomez Ponente: J. Cortes
Private respondent GOMEZ was employed as a factory worker by STARLITE sometime in March 1981. On 22 June 1984, STARLITE dismissed him on the ground that he was caught attempting to steal one ballast costing P80.00. STARLITE reported the matter to the police on 19 July 1984, after grievance meetings failed to resolve the controversy. A criminal complaint was filed against GOMEZ, but the investigating fiscal dismissed the same saying that STARLITE failed to establish a prima facie case against GOMEZ. On 13 August 1983, private respondent GOMEZ filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against STARLITE. After the parties submitted their respective position papers, the Labor Arbiter rendered his decision on 15 January 1985 dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. GOMEZ appealed the decision to the public respondent NLRC which in a decision dated 18 February 1987 reversed the ruling of the Labor Arbiter.
WON decision of the NLRC was rendered in grave abuse of discretion petitioner argues that the act of dishonesty of GOMEZ led petitioner to lose its trust and confidence in him and is more than sufficient to justify his dismissal. Private respondent GOMEZ appealed the decision to public respondent NLRC which, on 18 February 1987, reversed the ruling of the Labor Arbiter, holding that the facts on record did not support the Labor Arbiter's conclusion.
The Court finds petitioner's contentions unmeritorious. At the outset, the Court finds it necessary to emphasize that contrary to the tenor of the Labor Arbiter's decision, a dismissed employee is not required to prove his innocence of the charges levelled against him by his employer. The Court has laid down the rule...