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Refusal to undergo random drug testing

Dear PAO,

We have a family business engaged in transporting passengers/commuters. Can refusal to undergo random drug testing be a valid ground for the dismissal of an employee?


Dear Lydia,

In the case of Kakampi and its Members, Victor Panuelos et al. v. Kingspoint Express and Logistic and/or Mary Ann Co, GR 194813, April 25, 2012, through Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, the Supreme Court held the following:

«It is fundamental that in order to validly dismiss an employee, the employer is required to observe both substantive and procedural due process — the termination of employment must be based on a just or authorized cause and the dismissal must be effected after due notice and hearing.

»As to whether Kingspoint Express complied with the substantive requirements of due process, this Court agrees with the CA that the concerned employees' refusal to submit themselves to drug test is a just cause for their dismissal.


«An employer may terminate an employment on the ground of serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work. Willful disobedience requires the concurrence of two elements: (1) the employee's assailed conduct must have been willful, that is, characterized by a wrongful and perverse attitude; and (2) the order violated must have been reasonable, lawful, made known to the employee, and must pertain to the duties which he had been engaged to discharge. Both elements are present in this case.

»As to the first element, that at no point did the dismissed employees deny Kingspoint Express' claim that they refused to comply with the directive for them to submit to a drug test or, at the very least, explain their refusal gives rise to the impression that their non-compliance is deliberate. The utter lack of reason or justification for their insubordination indicates that it was prompted by mere obstinacy, hence, willful and warranting of dismissal. xxx

«As to the second element, no belabored and extensive discussion is necessary to recognize the relevance of the subject order in the performance of their functions as drivers of Kingspoint Express. As