G.R. No. 121466, 15 August 1997
In 1991, PMI Colleges hired the services of Alejandro Galvan for the latter to teach in said institution. However, PMI defaulted from paying the remunerations due to Galvan. Galvan made demands but were ignored by PMI. Eventually, Galvan filed a labor case against PMI. Galvan got a favorable judgment from the Labor Arbiter; this was affirmed by the NLRC. On appeal, PMI reiterated, among others, that the employment of Galvan is void because it did not comply with its by-laws. Apparently, the by-laws require that an employment contract must be signed by the Chairman of the Board of PMI. PMI asserts that Galvan’s employment contract was not signed by the Chairman of the Board.
Whether or not Galvan’s employment contract is void for failure to produce a copy thereof.
The absence of such copy does not in any manner negate the existence of a contract of employment since” (C)ontracts shall be obligatory, in whatever form they have been entered into, provided all the essential requisites for their validity are present.”
The only exception to this rule is “when the law requires that a contract be in some form in order that it may be valid or enforceable, or that a contract be proved in a certain way.” However, there is no requirement under the law that the contract of employment of the kind entered into by petitioner with private respondent should be in any particular form.
We find it difficult to agree with petitioner’s assertion that the absence of a copy of the alleged contract should nullify private respondent’s claims.
Neither can we concede that such contract would be invalid just because the signatory thereon was not the Chairman of the Board which allegedly violated petitioner’s by-laws. Since by-laws operate merely as internal rules among the stockholders, they cannot affect or prejudice third persons who deal with the corporation, unless they have knowledge of the same.”
No proof appears on record that private respondent ever knew anything about the provisions of said by-laws. In fact, petitioner itself merely asserts the same without even bothering to attach a copy or excerpt thereof to show that there is such a provision. How can it now expect the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC to believe it? That this allegation has never been denied by private respondent does not necessarily signify admission of its existence because technicalities of law and procedure and the rules obtaining in the courts of law do not strictly apply to proceedings of this nature.
*Case Digest by Jhazel Zhan Jebone, JD-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020