113 in termination of cases the burden of proving

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113 “In termination of cases, the burden of proving just or valid cause for dismissing an employee rests on the employer.” 114 In this case, Saudia makes much of how respondents supposedly completed their exit interviews, executed quitclaims, received their separation pay, and took more than a year to file their Complaint. 115 If at all, however, these circumstances prove only the fact of their occurrence, nothing more. The voluntariness of respondents’ departure from Saudia is non sequitur . Mere compliance with standard procedures or processes, such as the completion of their exit interviews, neither negates compulsion nor indicates voluntariness. As with respondent’s resignation letters, their exit interview forms even support their claim of illegal dismissal and militates against Saudia’s arguments. These exit interview forms, as reproduced by Saudia in its own Petition, confirms the unfavorable conditions as regards respondents’ maternity leaves. Ma. Jopette’s and Loraine’s exit interview forms are particularly telling: a. From Ma. Jopette’s exit interview form: _______________ 113 Id. , at pp. 610, 715, and 750. 114 Dusit Hotel Nikko v. Catbonlon , 523 Phil. 338, 344; 489 SCRA 671, 676 (2006) [Per J. Quisumbing, Third Division], citing Sameer Overseas Placement Agency, Inc. v. NLRC , 375 Phil. 535; 317 SCRA 120 (1999) [Per J. Pardo, First Division]. 115 Rollo , pp. 28, 32, and 35. 183 VOL. 746, JANUARY 14, 2015 183 Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) vs. Rebesencio 3. In what respects has the job met or failed to meet your expectations?
2/28/2021 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 746 33/37 THE SUDDEN TWIST OF DECISION REGARDING THE MATERNITY LEAVE. 116 b. From Loraine’s exit interview form: 1. What are your main reasons for leaving Saudia? What company are you joining? x x x x x x x x x Others CHANGING POLICIES REGARDING MATERNITY LEAVE (PREGNANCY) 117 As to respondents’ quitclaims, in Phil. Employ Services and Resources, Inc. v. Paramio , 118 this court noted that “[i]f (a) there is clear proof that the waiver was wangled from an unsuspecting or gullible person; or (b) the terms of the settlement are unconscionable, and on their face invalid, such quitclaims must be struck down as invalid or illegal.” 119 Respondents executed their quitclaims after having been unfairly given an ultimatum to resign or be terminated (and forfeit their benefits). V Having been illegally and unjustly dismissed, respondents are entitled to full backwages and benefits from the time of their termination until the finality of this Decision. They are likewise entitled to separation pay in the amount of one (1) _______________ 116 Id. , at p. 28. 117 Id. , at p. 31. 118 471 Phil. 753; 427 SCRA 732 (2004) [Per J. Calleja, Sr., Second Division]. 119 Id. , at p. 780; p. 755, citing Dole Philippines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals , 417 Phil. 428; 365 SCRA 124 (2001) [Per J. Kapunan, First Division]. 184 184 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) vs. Rebesencio month’s salary for every year of service until the finality of this Decision, with a fraction of a year of at least six (6) months being counted as one (1) whole year.

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