Labor and Employment Articles

Important Amendments to Mexican Federal Labor Law and Union Rights

By Javier Zapata

Mexico’s Federal Constitution was amended in February 2017 to provide the legal foundation to create new specialized Labor Courts to resolve labor and employment disputes, replacing the Mediation and Arbitration Labor Boards that currently operate under the Mexican Executive Branch.  Further, this amendment guarantees the rights of workers to bargain collectively, mandating that unions prove that they represent workers, and implements free and confidential voting process to elect union representatives, approve union contracts and to resolve disputes between unions.   Additionally, with the Mexican Senate’s ratification of International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 98 and proposed execution of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which remains pending approval by the legislative bodies of Canada, Mexico and the United States, Mexico is now … read more

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leaves of Absence Rights in Mexico

By Pablo Sáenz and María Fernanda Magallanes

Article 170 of Mexico’s Federal Labor Law provides the right of working mothers to paid for maternity leave, six weeks before and six weeks after the birth of a child.  It also provides the possibility to transfer from the pre-partum maternity leave period up to four (out of six) weeks, to the post-partum maternity leave period if an employee requests and obtains written approval from a physician at Mexico’ Social Security Institute (IMSS). If the child is born with a disability or requires a hospital stay to receive medical attention, the post-partum leave period may be increased to eight weeks.  The length of maternity leave may also be increased if a working mother is unable to return to work due … read more

Legal Considerations for Hiring Students in Mexico

By Pablo Saenz and Fernanda Magallanes

Mexican companies commonly hire students to work in their businesses in order to enable such students to fulfill their community service or professional internship requirements, which can lead to complications given that this type of work is not regulated by Mexico’s Federal Labor Law (Ley Federal del Trabajo).  Notwithstanding such gap in the law, the Mexican Federal Department of Labor (Secretaría del Trabajo y Prevision Social or STPS) has issued guidelines regulating how students may provide services to fulfill their community service or professional internship requirements and, at the same time, reduce the employer’s labor liability under Mexican Federal Labor Law.  The STPS guidelines regulating students working in a community service or professional internship capacity include the following: Educational institutions … read more

Adverse Possession Rights in Agrarian Matters

Adverse Possession Rights in Agrarian Matters

By Jorge Ojeda

 In Mexico, lands subject to the social system known as “ejido” occupy more than 50% of the national territory. It is possible to acquire such lands by complying with a series of requirements, among them, that the owner/seller gives a right of first refusal as required by Article 84 of the Agrarian Law to “…family members of the seller, the persons who have worked the plots of land for more than a year, the ejido members, recognized neighbors, and the ejido…” The Agrarian Law establishes a particular method to notify such interested parties, including notification to an ejido board (Comisariado Ejidal). It also establishes that “if the notification is not made, the sale could be nullified.” It has been debated whether the violation of … read more

Steps to Follow for a Proper Receipt of Legal Notice from Mexican Labor Authorities

Steps to Follow for a Proper Receipt of Legal Notice from Mexican Labor Authorities

By Fernanda Magallanes

It is very common that when a company receives a subpoena or notification by a labor authority, such companies do not have the necessary knowledge to determine: (i) whether such company is the intended recipient of the documents conveyed; (ii) how the labor authority should identify themselves whenever conveying such documents; and (iii) what one should respond before said authority in order to avoid receiving documents that do not pertain to the company. In this regard, it is important for companies to ask the labor authorities to identify themselves during a company visit. The representative acting on behalf of the labor authority should present an official identification pertaining to the agency to which he or she belongs. Secondly, the labor … read more

Important Aspects of Performance and Success Bonuses Paid to Employees in Mexico

By Pablo Sáenz

It is common for companies in Mexico to compensate their employees through bonuses correlating to their performance and/or results. It is very important that these bonuses are correctly regulated and documented. They should be sporadic and variable in amount in order to avoid them being considered as part of the employee’s base wage. This is essential for cases where possible indemnification for unjustified dismissal could be paid. Since the Federal Labor Law does not regulate bonuses tied to performance and/or results as the ones mentioned above, it is important to implement a policy duly executed by any employee entitled to such bonus payments. Additionally, such companies should grant a bonus payment only when the employees satisfactorily meet the previously established … read more

Recent Jurisprudence – Burden of Proof in Claims of Days of Weekly Rest and Compulsory Rest, by Adrian Salgado

The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Nation recently published decision number 2a./J. 63/2017 (10a), entitled: “Days of weekly rest and compulsory rest. Burden of proof in regards to claims for such items.” This decision resolves the contradiction between the prior decisions of the Circuit Collegiate Tribunals, the Third of the Auxiliary Center of the Tenth Region, and the First of the Auxiliary Center of the Fourth Region, the latter being the subject of an article in the June 2014 CCN MexicoReport™. In the present case, the Second Chamber concluded that two procedural burdens are generated in accordance with the general principle that whoever makes a claim is obligated to provide the proof. As such, the first burden … read more

Relevant Aspects to Consider When Managing Employee Attendance Records, by Maria Fernanda Magallanes

In Mexico, it is vital for companies to take appropriate measures to control their employees’ attendance. This not only entails confirming their schedules, but also issues related to the measurement of productivity within the company and how to avoid claims in the event of a labor lawsuit. It is the employer whom, in case of labor lawsuit, has the burden to prove the following to the labor authorities: i) the work schedule; (ii) whether or not the employees worked overtime, and, if applicable, the payment of the such; and (iii) if the employees were absent from work with a justified or unjustified reason, and, if applicable,  be able to  prove the corresponding discounts for these absences or even to prove … read more

Recent Jurisprudence –Termination of Employment Agreements. Ratification before the Labor Board, by Adrián Salgado

Recently, the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Mexico issued legal decision by contradiction titled: “Termination of Employment Agreements. The parties are not required to appear before the competent Labor Board in order to ratify such.” In this legal decision, the Second Chamber states that pursuant to an interpretation of labor provisions relative to employment termination agreements, it is concluded that it is not required that an employer and employee ratify the corresponding agreement before the Labor Board, since this ratification is optional and does not imply that the employee loses the opportunity to file an action for nullity through the corresponding labor proceeding. Furthermore, the option to ratify the agreement should not be understood as an obligation that … read more