For those who have asked whether the employee's previous infractions, for which he or she has been punished already, may be taken into account in determining the proper penalty to be imposed for a subsequent offense, whether or not related to the previous offense/s, attention should be directed to the very recent case of Tolo vs. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, G.R. No. 257856, 3 January 2022, where the Supreme Court reiterated -
"...it bears stressing that the record of an employee is a relevant consideration in determining the penalty that should be meted out [to any employee] since an employee's past conduct and prevent behavior must be taken together in determining the proper imposable penality..."
Given this ruling of the Supreme Court, employees should be aware of the importance of keeping their records - or 201 file, as it is called in HR speak - clean. It does not mean that if an employee has been previously disciplined for an offense, that this cannot be taken into consideration when determining the proper penalty for a subsequent offense.
(Aaron Jarveen O. Ho is the Managing Partner of HG Law. For questions or concerns, Atty. Ho may be reached through his e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org)