Forfeiture of commission for violation of Confidentiality of Documents and Non-Compete Clause are clear

Article 1370 of the Civil Code provides that “[i]f the terms of a contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of the contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulations shall control.”

The commissions of Babiano were properly forfeited for violating the “confidentiality of Documents and Non-Compete Clause.”

Employment status is defined and prescribed by law

While the employment agreement of Concepcion was denominated as a “Contract of Agency for Project Director,” it should be stressed that the existence of employer-employee relations could not be negated by the mere expedient of repudiating it in a contract. In the case of Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. v. NLRC, it was ruled that one’s employment status is defined and prescribed by law, and not by what the parties say it should be.

Affirmative relief for labor despite failure to appeal

As a general rule, a party who has not appealed cannot obtain any affirmative relief other than the one granted in the appealed decision. However, jurisprudence admits an exception to the said rule, such as when strict adherence thereto shall result in the impairment of the substantive rights of the parties concerned. In Global Resource for Outsourced Workers, Inc. vs. Velasco.

Related: Valid Forfeiture of Commission

The dictates of equity and in order to arrive at a complete and just resolution of the case, and avoid a piecemeal dispensation of justice over the same, the CA correctly recomputed Concepcion’ s unpaid commissions, notwithstanding her failure to seek a review of the NLRC’s computation of the same.

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