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OROZCO v. CA o She had no employment contract with PDI.

Her employment was based on a verbal


GR No. 155207 / August 13, 2008/ NACHURA, J./ LABOR 1 /RLAurellano agreement
NATURE Petition for certiorari to review of the decision and reso of the CA o She was not required to report 8hrs/day
PETITIONERS Wilhelmina S. Orozco o When Orozco went to New York and did not submit columns, she didnt have to ask
RESPONDENTS CA; Philippine Daily Inquirer; Leticia Jimenez Magsanoc PDIs permission, nor was she disciplined for the same
o Relationship does not pass the control test because PDI only controls the results of the
SUMMARY. Petitioner Orozco is a columnist in the Lifestyle section of PDI. Her column was work by deciding WON to publish the article, not the means
nixed. She filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. She claims that PDI exercised control over Before the SC, Orozco contends that PDI exercised control over her, as shown by the ff
her by dictating deadtlines, standards, and the length of her article. SC rules that this is not instances:
the control contemplated by the LC, since these are usual conditions in running a newspa- o She had to ensure that the contents of the column were in line with the objectives of
per, and they only control the results of Orozcos work, not the means and the manner the Lifestyle section and the principles of PDI
which she does her work. In addition, she is not economically dependent on PDI. SC rules o She had to observe deadtlines
that Orozco is an independent contractor. o PDI controlled the length of her article she was told to submit only 2-3 pages
DOCTRINE. [As per the syllabus topic] The economic reality test: The economic realities o She had to discuss the topics first with her editor, who has the say WON the topic is
prevailing within the activity or between the parties are examined, taking into consideration highly relevant and significant
the totality of circumstances surrounding the true nature of the relationship between the
parties ISSUES & RATIO.
o Appropriate when there is no written agreement or contact on which to base the rela- 1. WON a newspaper columnist is an EE of the newspaper which publishes the column
tionship NO. The control exercised by PDI over Orozco are inherent conditions in running a
o Benchmark of this test: the economic dependence of EE on ER newspaper. Also, she is not economically dependent on PDI.
The EE-ER relationship is a question of fact. The SC, in this case, decided to make its
FACTS. own finding of facts considering that the CA and the NLRCs findings of fact were con-
Petitioner Orozco writes a weekly column for the Lifestyle section of the PDI. She submits tradictory
articles every week, and she receives Php 250 for every column published. The four-fold test: (a) the selection and the selection and engagement of the employ-
o Her compensation was later increased to Php 300 ee; (b) the payment of wages; (c) the power of dismissal; and (d) the employers power
One day, Orozcos editor told her that respondent Magsanoc wanted to stop publishing to control the employees conduct
Orozcos column for no reason, and she (editor) advised Orozco to talk to Magsanoc o The power of control is the most crucial and determinative factor in these elts. So
o When all is said and done, it appears that Magsanoc wanted to stop publishing Orozcos important that the other elts may be disregarded.
column because the Lifestyle section had too many columnists o The control test: presence or absence of supervisory authority to control the method
PDI contends that Orozcos column was terminated because her column was superficially and the details of performance of the service being rendered, and the degree to
and poorly written, and she failed to improve. So it was agreed by Magsanoc and the Life- which the principal may intervene to exercise such control2
style section editor to terminate the column. However, it must be noted that not every form of control should be accorded the effect
Orozco filed a claim for illegal dismissal, backwages, damages, and other money claims of establishing an EE-ER relationship. The rules set out by the alleged ER must control
LA: Orozco is PDIs EE. They exercised fill and complete control over the means and not only the results of the work, but also the means and the methods
method by which Orozcos work had to be accomplished. In this case, the time, space, and discipline impositions on Orozco were not unusual for
o This control was manifested in PDIs prerogative to reject any article submitted by a newspaper of general circulation like PDI
Orozco o On standards set by PDI: thats allowed because public interest dictates that PDI
o Control was also manifested through the title of Orozcos column1, which limited what have standards, as they are read by thousands of people
she should write about o PDI never restrained Orozcos creativity, nor how to write or produce her articles
o Also the fact that Orozcos articles were published weekly for 3 yrs show that she is a Manner, style, and method of research were not controlled
regular EE That her topics were subject to approval is not control Orozcos column appeared
NLRC: LA affirmed in the Lifestyle section; therefore, it should cater to the preferences of Lifestyle
CA: NLRC and LA reversed. They misappreciated the facts of this case daw section readers
o Orozco admitted that she was never considered by PDI as their EE o Orozco chose her own column title lol. She is actually known as a feminist writer

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To control not only the work done, but also the means and the methods by which the same is
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Feminist Reflection lol accomplished
o The only control PDI exercised over Orozcos column was either asking her to make it
shorter, or outright not publishing it.
o This control is logical, as one who commissions a project has a right to accept or re-
ject it
o The SC contrasted Orozcos work with that of a regular newspaper reporter who is
assigned a beat, who must inform her editor what story she is working on, must ask
permission to change beat, etc
The economic reality test: The economic realities prevailing within the activity or be-
tween the parties are examined, taking into consideration the totality of circumstances
surrounding the true nature of the relationship between the parties
o Appropriate when there is no written agreement or contact on which to base the re-
lationship
o Benchmark of this test: the economic dependence of EE on ER
o In this case, Orozcos main occupation is a womens rights advocate. She also admits
that she writes for other publications. Thus, it cannot be said that she was dependent
on PDI for her continued employment
Therefore, Orozco is not an EE of PDI she is an independent contractor
o Independent contractor: works under her own manner and method. Principal con-
trols only the results of her work
o Sonza v. ABS-CBN: Sonza hired for his unique skills, talent and celebrity status not
possessed by ordinary employees, which is indicative of independent contractorship
Orozco was hired for her talent, skill, experience, and unique viewpoint as a femi-
nist advocate. How she utilized these was not subject to PDIs control
PDI also did not supply Orozco with tools and instrumentalities she needed to per-
form her work

2. [PROCEDURAL] WON CA should have dismissed PDIs petition bc they did not post a
cash or surety bond
While the posting of a cash or surety bond is jurisdictional and is a condition sine qua
non to the perfection of an appeal, there is a plethora of jurisprudence recognizing ex-
ceptional instances wherein the Court relaxed the bond requirement as a condition for
posting the appeal.
Also, nagpost na yung PDI ng bond lol

DECISION.
Petition dismissed. CA decision and reso affirmed.