Niña Jewelry Manufacturing of Metal Arts, Inc. v. Montecillo (2011)

Niña Jewelry Manufacturing of Metal Arts, Inc. v. Montecillo, G.R. No. 188169, November 28, 2011, Per Reyes, J.:

1. Background

• Madeline Montecillo (Madeline) and Liza Trinidad (Liza), hereinafter referred to collectively as [the Complainants], were first employed as goldsmiths by [the Company] Niña Jewelry Manufacturing of Metal Arts, Inc. (Niña Jewelry) in 1996 and 1994, respectively. Madeline's weekly rate was P1,500.00 while Liza's was P2,500.00.

• There were incidents of theft involving goldsmiths in Niña Jewelry's employ.

• On August 13, 2004, Niña Jewelry imposed a policy for goldsmiths requiring them to post cash bonds or deposits in varying amounts but in no case exceeding 15% of the latter's salaries per week. The deposits were intended to answer for any loss or damage which Niña Jewelry may sustain by reason of the goldsmiths' fault or negligence in handling the gold entrusted to them. The deposits shall be returned upon completion of the goldsmiths' work and after an accounting of the gold received.

• Niña Jewelry alleged that the goldsmiths were given the option not to post deposits, but to sign authorizations allowing the former to deduct from the latter's salaries amounts not exceeding 15% of their take home pay should it be found that they lost the gold entrusted to them. [The Complainants] claimed otherwise insisting that Niña Jewelry left the goldsmiths with no option but to post the deposits. [The Complainants] alleged that they were constr...

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