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illegal dismissal and double jeopardy

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1 illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:06 pm

childofmosthigh


Arresto Menor
Hello Atty, good afternoon. I would like to seek your expertise and legal advice on this. I am recently appealing my case against my employer. I still consider my status as floating for almost 1 month now. I would like to know the legality of their decision.

I know this is a bit lengthy but please be patient and review my case.

I have been with this Call Center for 3 years running 4 years now. My dispute goes like this. My best friend and I work for the same company under the same account. I am a supervisor handling a back office team and she’s an agent taking calls under supervisory of a different Team Leader.

Everything goes normal until such time that my best friend was being courted by her direct Team Leader. This for me appears to be so unprofessional. My best friend have many times spoken to her Team Leader explaining that she doesn’t like to continue whatever they have started. Things became too personal between them as the Team Leader refuse to accept my best friend’s decision. The Team Leader acted so freakish as he started sending emotional black messages through text. That, he would end his life if she won’t let him continue courting and etc. Everything was so awkward between them though she’s trying to appear to as normal as she can be in the workplace. Since work is now being affected, my best friend now confides everything to me as she’s now getting no support at all from his Team Leader. Now as a friend I tried to provide all the support she can get with regard to the work itself.

Now this is where things came so complicated. Her Team Leader knows for a fact that I am not a fan of his courtship thing. I do not support and want him to be my best friend’s boyfriend for so many reasons, one being so unprofessional. With all these happening, there was this one time I am fixing my team’s pay time card. This is where agent’s pay is based depending on the hours logged of course. For some reason, I was moved to check my best friend’s electronic pay time card to see if she’s being paid accordingly. There I have seen the discrepancies. I saw days where her time cards where not plotted correctly, so I fixed it. Funny that I have also seen days being paid when she’s absent. Days when she was late yet paid in full. Those were the days when things were still okay between them. Now that she was being asked to stop, her Team Leader has also stopped paying her correctly.




Being a friend I fixed her pay time card accordingly. Unknown to me, traces were seen that someone fixed her pay time card. The Team Leader knows for a fact that only I can possibly do that. I have been in constant communication with my best friend to see if she’s aware that she’s being paid when she’s not in the office. Until such time everything is cleared we have decided to take the step and let management look into this. Unfortunately, the same day we decided to escalate things to my own Team Leader was the same day I was served the memo. Ika nga, naunahan lang ako. Her Team Leader filed a complaint letter against me to HR and my first memo was served on July 20, 2011. HR served a Fraud memo. I have undergone due process, attended HR hearing and soon enough that I was then exonerated for the Fraud case as they have seen that there were no additional pay made by me or no monetary loss for the company. During the admin hearing I have made them aware what pushed me to fix my best friend’s pay time card without escalating it to my Team Leader instead or to the management.

My points were:

- I did not see this to be illegal as I have fixed her time card according to her time ins/logs
- I was not able to escalate the situation immediately as I need to confirm things yet with my best friend as I need to know if those paid days when she was absent were approved by her Operations Manager or not.
- They said it is an illegal transaction since my best friend is not under my supervision. I humbly acknowledge that this may be not authorized but is not illegal as I have done this only for the best interest of the company as we are able to trace people purely and clearly violating the company’s policy.
- I have made a lapse in judgment when I should have escalated this but all is done for a clean purpose.


At the same time, my Team Leader was given a memo on Security Breach. He was dragged by the situation since I used his time card log-ins to fix our team’s time card and I have used this to make illegal transaction as they have noted. In our company, only Team Leaders have a direct access to edit and fix agents pay time card. The thing is this is not followed and practiced. As supervisors are seen as future Team Leaders, they have delegated tasks for us to fix our team’s pay time card. June 29 when I fixed my best friend’s time card, the same day my Team Leader shared his access for the purpose of fixing our team’s time card. This act of access sharing was supported by an email of our Operations Manager on the same day. Though not stipulated in the email that we need to share the access, it’s obvious as there were no workaround or options to do this unless we share the access.

This gave me the option to check on other my best friend’s time card. My Team Leader was first given a termination though it was later reversed to 5 days suspension after him appealing to the country HR.

As my first memo was solely on fraud issue, I was exonerated on the context of the fraud issue.

Unfortunately, the same day they have given me the exoneration papers on Fraud. They issued another one on Security Breach. These made me feel being vexed/punished twice for the same incident. I have looked into this as double jeopardy yet I still followed what they called to be procedural process. Have undergone the hearing with no difference in questions I have raised and repeated my points. Second case on Security Breach they have imposed termination. I have decided to grieve this and was given 24 hours to present my appeal letter which I have. Stipulated on the company’s policy that an erring employee may grieve in 24 hours and result shall be given also 24 hours later. 24 hours later, no update. I waited patiently and was floated now for 22 days. My text messages to my Operations Manager were ignored and were not replied to. After so many texts and email result was given on November 7, 2011. Sadly, the Site Director upholds the decision of termination as per him it is a direct violation of their security policy.
This time, they have given a different name, the final office where I can grieve and request my case to be reviewed. Upon submitting my second appeal letter, it was brought to my attention that attrition notification was already submitted though I am still appealing my case.

Looking at the situation, I felt being illegally dismissed with the points being imposed as constructive termination.

I feel being violated for the following reasons:

- They have issued Fraud then exonerated then later on issued Security Breach for the same incident with Termination. This for me looks double jeopardy.
- With no harm done on the business side, I feel termination to be excessive.
- My best friend’s Team Leader should have been prioritized as clearly seen fraud and stealing from the company. He was now terminated though was deserve to be terminated ahead of us as evidence of fraud was presented during the initial hearing. My Team Leader was the one firstly asked to leave the company be giving termination.
- Stipulated on their own company policy that an erring employee must receive the result of grievance within 24 hrs yet I was floated 22 days now, delaying tactics.
- I was given a Security Breach for having time card access of my Team Leader where it is based from a directive of an Operations Manager (where other Team Leads and supervisor have done the sharing of access and seen this the way we have carried out the act.
- Attrition notification was sent though I am still appealing my case


Atty, please advise if there my points were valid and If I am being dismissed illegally. At this point, I am waiting for the final appeal result though we are now decided to make a file against them to NLRC. Are these valid to file a case against my employer?

Kindly advise. Your time and help on this is greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much.


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2 Re: illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:18 pm

attyLLL


moderator
without naming names, could you quote the part of the email where you claim that the ops manager impliedly authorized the sharing of log-ins?


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3 Re: illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:30 am

childofmosthigh


Arresto Menor
Hi Atty thank you so much for your prompt reply. Let me give you the exact email the ops manager sent his Team Leaders. And I qoute,

Team, Effective today, please send me a screenshot of your time card approval per team BEFORE you leave the office. Please copy Audrey (not real name, Senior Ops manager) EVERYDAY. For strict compliance.

Atty, additional info. We do have shifts over the weekends and weekend shifts are only being handled by Supervisors since Team Leaders are out (restday). This prompted my Team Leader to share his time card access as noted to get this done EVERDAY before leaving the office.

I am unable to carry out this task without having my Team Leader access' shared. Atty we pointed out during the admin hearing that though it was not directly stipulated in his email to share access but there would be no other options/workaround since Team Leaders are out. This was also how other team leaders or supports have carried the same instruction ( having the log-ins shared)

Moreover, we argued that instructions like this should be well thought of before cascading to the subordinates. They were gray areas that resulted confusion.

Thanks again atty.

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4 Re: illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:39 pm

attyLLL


moderator
sorry, but i see no implied authorization to share log ins.

the chance for your case to prosper is to convince the arbiter that though you committed an infraction, it was not coupled with a wrongful intent so termination was too severe.


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5 Re: illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:49 pm

childofmosthigh


Arresto Menor
I understand atty. This is what I am also pointing out that dismissal is excessive.

Thanks atty for looking into this.

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6 Re: illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:19 am

childofmosthigh


Arresto Menor
Atty, I would like to ask further. Please adv on the following:

1. On the said situation, can I file an NLRC case?

2. Was I put in double jeopardy since I was first given a memo on fraud, has been exonerated and then was given another one for security breach? When they can tackle both on the first instance memo was served?

3. Can I sue them for delaying my appeal since it was stipulated on their company policy that grievance result must be given 24 hours upon receipt of the appeal letter?

3. Can this be seen as contructive termination?

4. Do you think po that this can be grounds for illegal dismissal since there is no actual harm done on the business side?

Atty, I will await for your reply.

Thank you so much.

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7 Re: illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:55 pm

attyLLL


moderator
1) yes, whether right or wrong, employee has right to question termination
2) no
3) i wouldn't give too much on that, but yes you can include that in the complaint
4) no, it's actual termination
5) that's a possible argument, but not a very strong one.


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8 Re: illegal dismissal and double jeopardy on Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:55 am

childofmosthigh


Arresto Menor
thanks for your advice atty.

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