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Holiday and Holiday Pays
G.R. No. 114698 July 3, 1995
WELLINGTON INVESTMENT AND MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, petitioner,
CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO, Under-Secretary of Labor and Employment, ELMER ABADILLA, and 34 others, respondents
The case arose from a routine inspection conducted by a Labor Enforcement Officer on August 6, 1991 of the Wellington Flour Mills, an establishment owned and operated by petitioner Wellington Investment and Manufacturing Corporation (hereafter, simply Wellington). The officer thereafter drew up a report, a copy of which was "explained to and received by" Wellington's personnel manager, in which he set forth his finding of "non-payment of regular holidays falling on a Sunday for monthly-paid employees."
Wellington sought reconsideration of the Labor Inspector's report, by letter dated August 10, 1991. It argued that "the monthly salary of the company's monthly-salaried employees already includes holiday pay for all regular holidays . . . (and hence) there is no legal basis for the finding of alleged non-payment of regular holidays falling on a Sunday."
It expounded on this thesis in a position paper subsequently submitted to the Regional Director, asserting that it pays its monthly-paid employees a fixed monthly compensation "using the 314 factor which undeniably covers and already includes payment for all the working days in a month as well as all the 10 unworked regular holidays within a year."
Wellington's arguments failed to persuade the Regional Director who, in an Order issued on July 28, 1992, ruled that "when a regular holiday falls on a Sunday, an extra or additional working day is created and the employer has the obligation to pay the employees for the extra day except the last Sunday of August since the payment for the said holiday is already included in the 314 factor," and accordingly directed Wellington to pay its employees compensation corresponding to four (4) extra working days.
Whether or not a monthly-paid employee, receiving a fixed monthly compensation, is entitled to an additional pay aside from his usual holiday pay, whenever a regular holiday falls on a Sunday.
Every worker should, according to the Labor Code, "be paid his regular daily wage during regular holidays, except in retail and service establishments regularly employing less than ten (10) workers;" this, of course, even if the worker does no work on these holidays. The regular holidays include: "New Year's Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the ninth of April, the first of May, the twelfth of June, the fourth of July, the thirtieth of November, the twenty-fifth of December, and the day designated by law for holding a general election (or national referendum or plebiscite).
Particularly as regards employees "who are uniformly paid by the month, "the monthly minimum wage shall not be less than the statutory minimum wage multiplied by 365 days divided by twelve." 12 This monthly salary shall serve as compensation "for all days in the month whether worked or not," and "irrespective of the number of working days therein." 13 In other words, whether the month is of thirty (30) or thirty-one (31) days' duration, or twenty-eight (28) or twenty-nine (29) (as in February), the employee is entitled to receive the entire monthly salary. So, too, in the event of the declaration of any special holiday, or any fortuitous cause precluding work on any particular day or days (such as transportation strikes, riots, or typhoons or other natural calamities), the employee is entitled to the salary for the entire month and the employer has no right to deduct the proportionate amount corresponding to the days when no work was done. The monthly compensation is evidently intended precisely to avoid computations and adjustments resulting from the contingencies just mentioned which are routinely made in the case of workers paid on daily basis.
WHEREFORE, the orders complained of, namely: that of the respondent Undersecretary dated September 22, 1993, and that of the Regional Director dated July 30, 1992, are NULLIFIED AND SET ASIDE, and the proceeding against petitioner DISMISSED.
Acknowledgement: Jaja Oftana