This article talks about firing an employee for having an extra-marital affair based on serious misconduct, immorality and violation of company policies.
An employee may be terminated from employment for engaging in extra-marital affairs.
Professionalism entails non-interference with the personal affairs or matters of another. However, when it comes to extra-marital affairs, it may be a ground to fire an employee. Engaging in illicit relationships, despite being married, may constitute as just cause for dismissal on the ground of serious misconduct through immorality as evidenced by the Employee’s violation of the Company’s Employee Code of Conduct. This was amply explained in the case of Santos vs. NLRC [G.R. No. 115795, 06 March 1996] where the Supreme Court ruled:
“We cannot overemphasize that having an extra-marital affair is an affront to the sanctity of marriage, which is a basic institution of society. Even our Family Code provides that husband and wife must live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity. This is rooted in the fact that both our Constitution and our laws cherish the validity of marriage and unity of the family. Our laws, in implementing this constitutional edict on marriage and the family underscore their permanence, inviolability and solidarity.”
Well-entrenched in our jurisprudence is the dictum that when employers issue rules and regulations operative in a workplace, are deemed part of the contract of employment binding upon the employees who enter the service, on the assumption that they are knowledgeable of such rules [Salvarria vs. Letran College, G.R. No. 110396, 25 September 1998]. Such policies must be respected by the employees. An employer cannot rationally be expected to retain the employment of a person whose lack of morals, respect and loyalty to his employer, regard for his employer’s rules and appreciation of the dignity and responsibility of his office, has so plainly and completely been bared [Philippine-Singapore Transport Services, Inc. vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 95449, 18 August 1997]. Hence, the employer can rightfully terminate the employment of an employee who does not conform to its rules and regulations. After, all, it has been held that the right of the company to dismiss its employees is a measure of self-protection [Reyes vs. Minister of Labor, G.R. No. L-48705, 09 February 1989].
Engaging in adulterous relations with another may be considered as immorality, which can be a ground for termination of employment. The determination of whether a conduct is disgraceful or immoral involves a two-step process: first, a consideration of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the conduct; and second, an assessment of the said circumstances vis-à-visthe prevailing norms of conduct, i.e., what the society generally considers moral and respectable [Leus vs. St. Scholastica’s College Westgrove, G.R. No. 187226, 28 January 2015].
In fact, in Alilem Credit Cooperative, inc. vs. Bandiola [G.R. No. 173489, 25 February 2013], the Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of an employee for having extra-marital affairs with another woman (not an employee of the company) since it is a violation of the company’s policies. In addition, in Santos vs. NLRC [G.R. No. 115795, 06 March 1998], the Supreme Court held that when a teacher engages in extra-marital relationship, especially when the parties are both married, such behavior amounts to immorality, justifying his termination from employment. Furthermore, in Ogalisco vs. Holy Trinity College of General Santos City [G.R. No. 172913, 09 August 2007], the illicit affair between co-teachers was considered as just cause for termination of the erring teachers.
As can be gleaned above, no good can come out from breaking your marital vows. Not only could it open you to a possible criminal case, but it can also cause you to lose your job. A friendly advice, best to stay faithful and keep out of trouble.
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