NLRC-NCR Labor Arbiter finds online freelance writer regular employee
In a Decision on January 2013, an NCR Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of an online freelance writer of the Philippine Online Chronicles against Vibal Foundation, Inc.
The complainant claims for non-payment of salary, holiday pay, holiday premium, rest day premium, service incentive leave, 13thmonth pay, among others. The respondent company claims however that the complainant is one of the project editors.
The complainant was hired by the company as freelance writer of the Philippinbe Online Chronicles, a daily news website hosted by Vibal Foundation. The complainant was required to submit an average of three news articles a day one feature article a week.
The Labor Arbiter ruled that complainant is entitled to the monetary claims and other benefits as a regular employee of the respondent.
“The respondent company failed in presenting pertinent employment records of complainant like any written contract as mere project editor, pay slips and cash vouchers to prove payment of his money claims,” the Labor Arbiter said.
“Further, contrary to respondent’s company’s assertion that complainant is not a regular employee, or failed to submit the needed requirements for regularization, he was a regular employee since employment from February 1, 2010 until his resignation on May 15, 2012 because of the essential nature of his work as writer or editor,” the Labor Arbiter added.
“He was engaged to perform activities which are necessary and desirable in the usual business of the respondent company,” he noted.
Finally, the Labor Arbiter ruled that since the respondent company failed to show proof of payment of complainant’s claim for his unpaid last salaries from April 15 to May 15, 2012 and his entitlement to the legally mandated premium pay for holiday and rest day, service incentive leave pay and 13thmonth pay as regular employee since February 1, 2010 until May 15, 2012, must be granted.
The Labor Arbiter has exclusive jurisdiction over termination cases, money claims and other claims arising from employer-employee relationship, among others.
If no appeal is filed, the decision or order of the Labor Arbiter becomes final and executory after ten (10) calendar days from receipt thereof.
Research, Information and Publication Division
National Labor Relations Commission