Labor Law

DY KEH BENG vs. INTERNATIONAL LABOR and MARINE UNION OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL. G.R. No. L-32245 May 25, 1979 Employer-employee Relationship, Unfair labor practice, Control test



A charge of unfair labor practice was filed against Dy Keh Beng, proprietor of a basket factory, for discriminatory acts within the meaning of Section 4(a), sub-paragraph (1) and (4). Republic Act No. 875, by dismissing Carlos N. Solano and Ricardo Tudla for their union activities. After preliminary investigation was conducted, a case was filed in the Court of Industrial Relations for in behalf of the International Labor and Marine Union of the Philippines and two of its members, Solano and Tudla.

An employee-employer relationship was found to have existed between Dy Keh Beng and complainants Tudla and Solano, although Solano was admitted to have worked on piece basis.
According to Dy Keh Beng, however, Solano was not his employee for the following reasons:

(1) Solano never stayed long enought at Dy’s establishment;

(2) Solano had to leave as soon as he was through with the

(3) order given him by Dy;

(4) When there were no orders needing his services there was nothing for him to do;

(5) When orders came to the shop that his regular workers could not fill it was then that Dy went to his address in Caloocan and fetched him for these orders; and

(6) Solano’s work with Dy’s establishment was not continuous.

According to petitioner, these facts show that respondents Solano and Tudla are only piece workers, not employees under Republic Act 875, where an employee is referred to as

“shall include any employee and shag not be limited to the employee of a particular employer unless the Act explicitly states otherwise and shall include any individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in connection with any current labor dispute or because of any unfair labor practice and who has not obtained any other substantially equivalent and regular employment.”

While an employer

“includes any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly but shall not include any labor organization (otherwise than when acting as an employer) or anyone acting in the capacity of officer or agent of such labor organization.”



Whether there existed an employee employer relation between petitioner Dy Keh Beng and the respondents Solano and Tudla .


Petitioner really anchors his contention of the non-existence of employee-employer relationship on the control test.

While this Court upholds the control test under which an employer-employee relationship exists “where the person for whom the services are performed reserves a right to control not only the end to be achieved but also the means to be used in reaching such end, ” it finds no merit with petitioner’s arguments as stated above. It should be borne in mind that the control test calls merely for the existence of the right to control the manner of doing the work, not the actual exercise of the right.

Considering the finding by the Hearing Examiner that the establishment of Dy Keh Beng is “engaged in the manufacture of baskets known as kaing, it is natural to expect that those working under Dy would have to observe, among others, Dy’s requirements of size and quality of the kaing. Some control would necessarily be exercised by Dy as the making of the kaing would be subject to Dy’s specifications. Parenthetically, since the work on the baskets is done at Dy’s establishments, it can be inferred that the proprietor Dy could easily exercise control on the men he employed.


As to the contention that Solano was not an employee because he worked on piece basis, this Court agrees with the Hearing Examiner that circumstances must be construed to determine indeed if payment by the piece is just a method of compensation and does not define the essence of the relation. Units of time … and units of work are in establishments like respondent (sic) just yardsticks whereby to determine rate of compensation, to be applied whenever agreed upon.
We cannot construe payment by the piece where work is done in such an establishment so as to put the worker completely at liberty to turn him out and take in another at pleasure.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *