[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Labor Law Instructions; 2016 Labor Law Questions: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
Inggo is a drama talent hired on a per drama “participation basis” by DJN Radio Company. He worked from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., six days a week, on a gross rate of P80.00 per script, earning an average of P20,000.00 per month. Inggo filed a complaint before the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) against DJN Radio for illegal deduction, non-payment of service incentive leave, and 13th month pay, among others. On the basis of the complaint, the DOLE conducted a plant level inspection.
The DOLE Regional Director issued an order ruling that Inggo is an employee of DJN Radio, and that Inggo is entitled to his monetary claims in the total amount of P30,000.00. DJN Radio elevated the case to the Secretary of Labor who affirmed the order. The case was brought to the Court of Appeals. The radio station contended that there is no employer-employee relationship because it was the drama directors and producers who paid, supervised, and disciplined him. Moreover, it argued that the case falls under the jurisdiction of the NLRC and not the DOLE because Inggo’s claim exceeded PS,000.00.
[a] May DOLE make a prima facie determination of the existence of an employer-employee relationship in the exercise of its visitorial and enforcement powers? (2.5%)
[b] If the DOLE finds that there is an employee-employer relationship, does the case fall under the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter considering that the claim of Inggo is more than P5,000.00. Explain. (2.5%)