ELISEO Mejares and Victor Cayno were employed as taxi drivers of Hyatt Taxi Services Inc. (Hyatt). During their employment, their earnings were deducted P70.00 per shift day to cover the cost of the drivers’ two-way radio system. Later, the sum of P50.00 per tour of duty was deducted for the cost of Denzo air conditioning units. Later again, Hyatt deducted P150.00 per shift day to cover the expenses for the conversion of their unit from gas to LPG. Finally, a deduction of P100.00 per shift day was made for recalibrating the taxi’s meters.
Insofar as Mejares is concerned, his earnings were imposed a P150.00 deduction per shift day for installation of antenna repeaters.
In their complaints for illegal dismissal, they alleged the deductions are illegal. They claimed for their reimbursement.
Does this claim prosper?
Section 13 - Rule VIII of the Omnibus Rules to Implement the Labor Code provides:
Section 13. Wages deduction. – Deductions from the wages of the employees may be made by the employer in any of the following cases:
(a) When the deductions are authorized by law, including deduction for the insurance premiums advanced by the employer in behalf of the employee as well as union dues where the right to check-off has been recognized by the employer or authorized in writing by the individual employee himself.
(b) When the deductions are with the written authorization of the employees for payment to the third person and the employer agrees to do so; Provided, That the latter does not receive any pecuniary benefit, directly or indirectly, from the transaction.
The deductions in question were neither insurance premiums advanced by the employer nor union dues. Apart from the cash bond which appeared in the Contract to Drive, Hyatt failed to adduce evidence of any written authorization from their drivers to make deductions for two-way radio system, Denzo air conditioning system, LPG calibration, meter calibration, and installation of antenna repeater. Hyatt also lacked evidence to show that the deductions were intended as “increase in boundary rates.” These deductions, therefore, must be reimbursed to Mejares and Cayno. (Elesio Mejares and Victor Cayno vs. Hyatt Taxi Services Inc., et al., G.R. 242364, June 17, 2020).