“A project employee is one whose “employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking, the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or service to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season.” Before an employee hired on a per project basis can be dismissed, a report must be made to the nearest employment office of the termination of the services of the workers every time it completed a project, pursuant to Policy Instruction No. 20.”
“Surely, length of time is not the controlling test for project employment. Nevertheless, it is vital in determining if the employee was hired for a specific undertaking or tasked to perform functions vital, necessary and indispensable to the usual business or trade of the employer. Here, respondent had been a project employee several times over. His employment ceased to be coterminous with specific projects when he was repeatedly re-hired due to the demands of petitioner’s business. Where from the circumstances it is apparent that periods have been imposed to preclude the acquisition of tenurial security by the employee, they should be struck down as contrary to public policy, morals, good customs or public order.”
“While the appropriate evidence to show that a person is a project employee is the employment contract specifying the project and the duration of such project, the existence of such contract is not always conclusive of the nature of one’s employment. xxx”
“From the foregoing discussion it is apparent that Kiamco was correctly labeled by the NLRC as a project employee. The basis for this conclusion is indeed well-founded. The three (3) Contracts of Employment entered into by Kiamco clearly established that he was a project employee because (a) he was specifically assigned to work for a particular project, which was the Geothermal Agro-Industrial Demonstration Plant Project of private respondents, and (b) the termination and the completion of the project or undertaking was determined and stipulated in the contract at the time of his employment.”
“At this time, we wish to allay any fears that this decision unduly burdens an employer by imposing a duty to re-hire a project employee even after completion of the project for which he was hired. The import of this decision is not to impose a positive and sweeping obligation upon the employer to re-hire project employees. What this decision merely accomplishes is a judicial recognition of the employment status of a project or work pool employee in accordance with what is fait accompli, i.e., the continuous re-hiring by the employer of project or work pool employees who perform tasks necessary or desirable to the employer’s usual business or trade”
—Maraguinot, Jr. vs. National Labor Relations Commission
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