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SC: Company firing worker due to lewd online chat right thing to do 

by Kiko Cueto

THE Supreme Court reaffirmed the decisions made by the Court of Appeals that sided with a private company that terminated an employee for engaging in lewd conversations with coworkers using the office online chatroom during work hours.

Likewise, the High Court said that sending out company information to a personal email address is a clear violation of the company policies, which amount to serious misconduct.

Thus, there is a reasonable ground for the employee’s termination.

According to the 16-page decision, Second Division of the SC had dismissed the certiorari petition filed by a former employee of JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.-Philippine Global Service Center.

The CA had affirmed his dismissal on 2020 and 2021.

“His own admission of participating and using the company chatroom in uttering indecent words about female colleagues and sending out company information to his personal email address amount to willful transgression of the company’s guidelines on workplace behavior,” the Supreme Court said in a decision penned by Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

In coming up with the decision the high court had cited Article 297 of the Labor Code which says that an employer may terminate its employee for serious misconduct or “willful disobedience” of policies.

The SC also explained that the misconduct must be serious or “of such grave and aggravated character,” related to the performance of an employee’s duties, and showed that the employee had become unfit to continue working for the employer.

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