Melco Resorts ordered to reinstate 42 guards

THE Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered Melco Resorts Leisure Corp. to reinstate 42 former security guards, ruling that the company had failed to meet its obligations with regard to their overtime pay.

In an 18-page decision dated Oct. 18 and made public on Oct. 24, the court ordered Melco Resorts to pay each of the former security guards P50,000 in damages.

The security guards said the company failed to pay overtime in 2017, other payments outlined in their employment contracts, as well as a share of customer tips.

Melco Resorts did not immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

The firm is the owner-operator of the City of Dreams resort and casino complex in Parañaque City.

The CA upheld a National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) ruling in favor of the security guards.

“The supposed distribution of additional cash payments should not be hedged upon Melco’s mere failure to come up with the company policy or guidelines in the distribution thereof,” Associate Justice Wilhelmina B. Jorge-Wagan said in the ruling.

The tribunal found that the NLRC did not abuse its discretion in ruling that Melco Resorts failed to prove that the guards were not entitled to the additional pay.

The company had argued that it had no policy on the additional grant of payments for the security guards, adding it did not know whether it was feasible to grant the extra pay.

It also said the security guards’ performance did not merit a bonus, which should have led to an NLRC rejection of the guards’ entitlement to additional payments.

“The respondents (security guards) should not bear MELCO’s incompetence in not seasonably formulating the required company policy or guidelines after it had so stipulated with the private respondents for the grant of additional cash payments,” the tribunal said.

The CA rejected Melco Resorts’ argument that the guards performed inadequately to warrant additional cash payments in the absence of firm performance guidelines.

“It is an established rule that he who alleges… has the burden of proving it,” the court said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

Neil Banzuelo

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