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Home arrow Law Updates arrow Burden of proof on the twin notices of termination
Burden of proof on the twin notices of termination Print
In Agusan Del Norte Elctric Cooperative, Inc & Horacio T. Santos vs. Joel Cagampang & Glenn Garzon G.R. No. 167627. October 10, 2008 the Court said that the Respondents in the present case being regular employees, ANECO as the employer had the burden of proof to show that the respondents’ termination was for a just cause. Unfortunately, however, what petitioners did was merely to refuse, without justifiable reason, to renew respondents’ work contracts for the performance of what would otherwise be regular jobs in relation to the trade or business of the former. Such conduct dismally falls short of the requirements of our labor laws regarding dismissals. No twin notices of termination were issued to the employees, hence the employer did not observe due process in dismissing them from their employment. Their dismissals were patently illegal. The Court reiterated that, time and again we have said that in illegal dismissal cases, the employer is burdened to prove just cause for terminating the employment of its employee with clear and convincing evidence. The weakness of the employee’s defense should not operate to relieve nor discharge the employer of its burden to prove its charges pursuant to the guaranty of tenure granted by the Constitution to employees under the Labor Code. The case of the employer must stand or fall on its own merits. In termination cases, the burden of proof rests upon the employer to show that the dismissal is for just and valid cause; failure to do so would necessarily mean that the dismissal was illegal. The employer’s case succeeds or fails on the strength of its evidence and not on the weakness of the employee’s defense. If doubt exists between the evidence presented by the employer and the employee, the scales of justice must be tilted in favor of the latter. Moreover, the quantum of proof required in determining the legality of an employee’s dismissal is only substantial evidence. Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla of evidence or relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds, equally reasonable, might conceivably opine otherwise.
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