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Abante, Jr. vs. Lamadrid Bearing & Parts Corp.

| 430 SCRA 368 | May 28, 2004


FATCS: Petitioner was a salesman of respondent company earning a commission of 3% of the total paid up
sales covering the whole area of Mindanao. Aside from selling, he was also tasked with collection. Respondent
corporation through its president, often required Abante to report to a particular area and occasionally required
him to go to Manila to attend conferences. Later on, bad blood ensued between the parties due to some bad
accounts that Lamadrid forced petitioner to cover. Later petitioner found out that respondent had informed his
customers not to deal with petitioner since it no longer recognized him as a commission salesman. Petitioner
filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with money claims against respondent company and its president, Jose
Lamadrid. By way of defense, respondents countered that petitioner was not its employee but a freelance
salesman on commission basis.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner, as a commission salesman, is an employee of respondent corporation.
RULING: To determine the existence of an employee-employer relationship, we apply the fourfold test:1) the
manner of selection and engagement; (2) the payment of wages; (3) the presence or absence of the power of
dismissal; and (4) the presence or absence of the power of control. Applying the aforementioned test, an
employer-employee relationship is notably absent in this case. It is true that he was paid in commission yet no
quota was imposed therefore a dismal performance would not warrant a ground for dismissal. There was no
specific office hours he was required to observe. He was not designated to conduct services at a particular area
or time. He pursued his selling without interference or supervision from the company. The company did not
prescribe the manner of selling merchandise. While he was sometimes required to report to Manila, these were
only intended to guide him. Moreover, petitioner was free to offer his services to other companies. Art. 280 is
not a crucial factor because it only determines two kinds of employees. It doesnt apply where there is no
employer-employee relationship. While the term commission under Article 96 of the LC was construed as being
included in the term wage, there is no categorical pronouncement that the payment of commission is conclusive
proof of the existence of an employee-employer relationship. The decision of the CA is affirmed.