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My boss insists that I am liable for lost properties

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educator10


Arresto Menor
Good afternoon.

Here is my situation. I have resigned from my previous work last June 14. I have already received my 13th month pay last July 16. However, the company still owes us (two colleagues and I) money for unpaid (balance) salary. The payment does not worry me since we already went to DOLE and filed a formal complaint.

Anyway, my problem here is my boss refuses to pay since he is claiming that I am liable for "lost" computers in the company. He is claiming that as the "head teacher" I am liable for the "lost" computers.

I want to know first when can an employee be held liable for lost properties?

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HR Adviser


Reclusion Perpetua
It is case to case basis.

For instance, if it was lost and was proven that you have negligence on your part, you may be held liable.

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3 Details on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:03 am

educator10


Arresto Menor
Here are some details:

1. He does not have an original written inventory of the number of computers that he originally has. He only claims that he has a number of computer units but there is no written document proving that.

2. It is not written in my contract that I have any responsibility regarding any property in the company. And in the contract it is written that I am only a "teacher" and not the "head teacher".

3. Can he prove that there are lost computers if he does not have a written document stating how many he originally has?

4. He did not keep those computers in the office when he first purchased them. He kept them in their house and just transferred them (not sure whether it is all of them) to the office later last year.

5. Supposed that I become liable, should I pay the whole amount of "lost" properties?

Thank you for this.

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HR Adviser


Reclusion Perpetua
Follow Up Question:

1. In your knowledge, how many computers were there? Do you have a document or someone to prove that is the only number of computers are there in your custody?

2. In your contract, does it have a clause that anything in your office will be in your custody?

3. In your own opinion, were there really computers lost?If yes, how many?

4. Was there an actual turn-over of the computers to you?

For the answers of your question:

3. He could simply make an inventory document if ever.

4. Answer first my follow-up questions

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5 Answers on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:48 am

educator10


Arresto Menor
1. The only document that can prove of how many computers there are in the office are the gate passes submitted to the administration office of the building.

2. Nothing in my contract states that anything in the office is in my custody. This is what the employment section of my contract states:

A. Employer employs and engage, and hires employee as a teacher to (responsibilities not connected to any property) and employee accepts and agrees to such hiring, engagement, and employment, subject to the general supervision and pursuant to orders, advice, and direction of employer.

B. Employee shall perform such other duties as are customarily performed by one holding one such position in other, same, or similar businesses or enterprises as that engaged in by employer, and shall also additionally render such other and unrelated services and duties as may be assigned to him from time to time.

Never did he give me (written/orally) instructions that I should be responsible for the computers or any property.

3. In my opinion, there is no computer lost. Actually he is claiming that half of the "50" computers were lost. I guess that is absurd.

4. No, there is no actual turnover. The process done was there were computers brought to the office, I just signed the gate pass.

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HR Adviser


Reclusion Perpetua
IMO, you don't have any liability to the computers that was lost. If he deducts it from your payroll, you may complain at the nearest dole office

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7 Thanks on Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:08 am

educator10


Arresto Menor
Thank you sir.

Actually, this issue is being used to delay his payment of the balance in our unpaid salary (more then 160 thousand). He says that he will not pay us until he knows whether I am liable or not. Looking at it, he would like to use our "liability" to deduct money from his balance.

1. Can he actually do that?
2. If he claims that I am liable, what can he do (file a complaint against me?)
3. What do you suggest me to do so that I can protect myself from this issue?
4. What do you suggest me to do so that this issue will be settled once and for all.
5. A person from DOLE suggested that after our mediation (SENA) regarding our unpaid salary, we ask for a "no retaliation". Will this help in the issue of me being liable to "lost" computers?

I appreciate your help very much.

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HR Adviser


Reclusion Perpetua
BTW, im a SHE Smile

1. If he can prove that you are liable, yes he can but I doubt
2. If he can prove that you took the computer, he can file for qualified theft.
3. You dont have to do something if your not guilty
4. File a money claim at the NLRC so that he'd be construed to pay you ASAP
5. If you are currently processing your SENA, let it finish first before going to NLRC. Who advised you to bargain for "no retaliation"?

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9 Thank you madam on Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:59 am

educator10


Arresto Menor
When we had the initial interview for the SENA on our first visit to DOLE, the interviewer actually suggested that once we have an agreement, we ask for a no retaliation. According to her words, "Para wala na siyang magagawa sa inyo, at kayo sa kanya". The impression given to me was, if we ask for it, nothing can be done against or against the company after the SENA.

However, when I try and know more about it over the internet, it seems that this is applicable for those who will continue working in the same company that was complained. At least that's how I understand it. The thing is, we already have resigned and will not be working there anymore.

That is why I would like to know what effect will it bring if we ask for a "no retaliation".

Thank you very much.

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Atty.Melki


Arresto Mayor
Your case is in the nature of a money claim from an employer-employee relationship that was already terminated. DOLE had no jurisdiction to rule on your case. Go to the NLRC RAB at the place where your former company is located and file your claim with the labor arbiter.

View user profile http://www.jimenolaw.com.ph/mlm.html

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