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Audion Electric v NLRC

G.R. No. 106648; June 17, 1999; Gonzaga-Reyes, J.

Doctrine: Where the employment of project employees is extended long after the supposed project has been
finished, the employees are removed from the scope of project employees and considered regular employees.

Facts:
1. Nicolas Madolid has worked for Audion Electric (an electrical contractor) for 13 years since 1976. During
such employment, he was assigned in different offices or projects as fabricator, helper electrician,
stockman, and timekeeper.
2. On Aug 3, 1989, Madolid received a letter informing him of his termination upon surrender of tools and
equipment not later than Aug 15.
3. Madolid filed a complaint for illegal dismissal because he was dismissed without just cause and due
process.
4. Company’s defense:
a. Madolid was merely a project employee according to its unverified letter-communication signed
by its project manager, dated Sept. 25, 1989. Thus, his employment was co-terminous with the
projects to which he was assigned.
b. His employment record showed a gap in his employment service by reason of completion of a
particular project, hence, he would be re-assigned to other on-going projects of the company or be
laid off if there is no available project.
5. LA held that Madolid was a regular employee and entitled to reinstatement with full backwages. NLRC
affirmed.

Issue/Held:
W/N Madolid is a project employee. – NO, he is a regular employee.

Ratio:
 Madolid’s employment status was established by the Certification of Employment dated April 10, 1989
issued by Audion Electric which certified that he is a bonafide employee of the company.
o This proves that he was regularly and continuously employed by petitioner in various job assignments
for 13 years.
o The alleged gap in employment service does not defeat his regular status as he was rehired for many
more projects without interruption and performed functions which are vital, necessary and
indispensable to the usual business of petitioner.
 We have held that where the employment of project employees is extended long after the supposed
project has been finished, the employees are removed from the scope of project employees and
considered regular employees.
o Petitioner merely presented an unverified position paper to show that Madolid was a project employee.
It failed to present any employment contract for a specific project signed by Madolid that would show
that his employment was for the duration of a particular project.
o Despite petitioner's claim that in taking interest in the welfare of its workers, it would strive to provide
them with more continuous work by successively employing its workers, petitioner also failed to
present any report of termination.
o Policy Instruction No. 20 of the DOLE is explicit that employers of project employees are required to
submit termination reports. Failure of the employer to file termination reports after every project
completion with the nearest public employment office is an indication that Madolid was indeed a
regular employee.