Labor and Employment Articles

August 17, 2020

Compliance with Guidelines for Reopening Operations and for Temporary Remote Work

By Pablo Sáenz and Fernanda Magallanes

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexican companies that i) are deemed essential, ii) are deemed to be non-essential but are and currently undergoing a reopening process, and iii) those that due to the nature of their work have employees working remotely, must implement and maintain specific written protocols and policies in accordance with federal and local guidelines requiring numerous measures to be taken to ensure a safe return to work, and if applicable, to regulate temporary remote work. In addition to maintaining appropriate protocols and policies, companies must also maintain certain documentation such as logbooks, questionnaires, records of the delivery of personal protective equipment, signage, communications, and training records, among others. In the event of a workplace inspection, … read more

March 31, 2020

Obesity According to Official Mexican Standards

On March 24, 2020, the Mexican Department of Health published a decree setting forth the preventive measures to be implemented to mitigate and control health risks relating to COVID-19, (the “Decree”). The Decree states that obese persons should avoid going to the workplace. Obesity constitutes a chronic pathology characterized by an increase in adipose tissue, which puts someone at risk not only of a higher mortality rate, but also of a higher rate of comorbidity. Such risks correlate to the severity of a person’s obesity (the higher the Body Mass Index “BMI”, the more complications are likely). Although the World Health Organization “WHO” defines obesity as a risk factor, obesity is identified as an illness in Official Mexican Standard NOM-008-SSA3-2017. … read more

March 28, 2020

Department of Economy

On March 23, 2020, official notice number 414.2020.654 dated March 20, 2020, was published on the webpage, pursuant to which the Department of Economy announced various measures to remotely maintain foreign trade transactions operational. In summary, the following was announced by means of said official letter: The electronic program “Ventanilla Única” will continue to operate in the regular manner. For IMMEX/PROSEC transactions that require submission of supplementary information, it must be sent to the following e-mail address: With respect to applications for expansion of sensitive goods and subsequent IMMEX expansions, the Department of Economy exempts the requirement for ratification of such by an authorized public accountant. E-mail addresses were provided for use in connection with any and all … read more

March 28, 2020

Paid Leave for Certain Groups

On March 24, 2020 the Mexican government issued a decree that requires employers to give certain groups of employees paid leave with benefits, effective as of such time and through April 19, 2020.  The following are the high-risk groups of employees listed in the decree: Employees who are over age 65. Women who are pregnant or nursing. Employees with a disability.  Unfortunately, the decree does not define disability. Employees with chronic diseases such as hypertension, pulmonary disease, kidney disease, lupus, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, liver or metabolic disease, and obesity. Employees who take medication that suppresses the immune system. The decree does not declare a sanitary emergency, and, as a result, there is significant discussion regarding the scope of the … read more

March 25, 2020

Labor Implications and Developments

On March 20, 2020 the Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the Ministry of Labor published a COVID-19 guide for employers (the “Guide”). The Guide establishes recommended measures to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition to general information regarding COVID-19 and basic recommendations, the following are some of the most relevant measures established in the Guide: Promote distancing and arrange workstations with spacing of 5 to 6.5 feet. Screen employees before entering the workplace and send home those who show symptoms to get tested or receive medical attention. Identify employees who are more vulnerable (preexisting conditions, overweight, over 60 years old and pregnant women). Identify positions that can work from home. Use technology to reduce number of attendees … read more

March 25, 2020

Force Majeure Clauses under Mexican Law

Although the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it has spawned has been declared a world-wide pandemic by the World Health Organization (“WHO”), from a legal standpoint in Mexico the current pandemic does not appear to justify a breach of contract under the theory of force majeure or as an Act of God. In our view, this will be the case until Mexico’s federal government, or individual state governments, declares which specific restrictive measures or prohibitions would directly impact a contracting party’s ability to perform its contractual obligations and/or be completely beyond the control of such party. Currently in Mexico, certain states have issued various restrictions ordering the closing or limiting of activities in specific business sectors of the economy. … read more

March 16, 2020

Covid-19: Employment Implications in Mexico

The World Health Organization (“WHO”) has recently declared the novel coronavirus (“Covid-19”) a pandemic, which will cause governments across the globe to take drastic and, in some cases, severe actions to curb the spread of the infection.  Given such events, it is important to identify employment obligations in Mexico pursuant to applicable law and standards, as well as to create and implement a protocol to prevent the spread of the virus and handle suspicious cases in workplaces. Provisions established in the Mexican Federal Labor Law (the “MFLL”) What kind of obligations are set forth in the MFLL concerning health emergencies? Generally, if authorities declare a health emergency, employers have the obligation to follow guidelines established by health authorities to protect … read more

February 21, 2020

Mexico to Create Federal Mediation and Labor Registry Center

By Pablo Sáenz and Fernanda Magallanes

On January 6, 2019, Mexico’s federal congress enacted a law detailing how it will create and regulate a new Federal Mediation and Labor Registry Center (the “Federal Center”). The Federal Center is expected to begin operations during the fourth quarter of 2020. The main purpose of the Federal Center is to oversee mediation in federal labor cases involving individual workers who file claims against their employers, as well as to oversee collective bargaining issues. Additionally, the Federal Center is tasked with the following matters: Keeping registration records of unions, collective bargaining agreements and internal work rules; Assisting unions in the voting process to elect union officials; Sending voting notifications and organizing the voting process to approve union contracts; Issuing certificates … read more

February 14, 2020

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – Chapter 23

I. INTRODUCTION. Chapter 23 of the USMCA is dedicated to labor, which was a key topic in USMCA negotiations given that labor issues were a major concern of the United States Congress throughout the negotiation process. In contrast to the USMCA’s dedication of a specific chapter to labor matters, the NAFTA labor provisions were incorporated in a side agreement containing eleven guiding principles on worker rights. The NAFTA requires Parties to cooperate on labor matters and submit only persistent patterns of a Party’s failure to enforce labor laws to full dispute resolution procedures.  Chapter 23 of the USMCA strengthens these labor provisions, allows for recourse on labor matters through the same dispute settlement procedures as apply to other matters, and … read more

October 31, 2019

Preventing Psychosocial Risk Factors in the Workplace

By Pablo Sáenz and Fernanda Magallanes

Mexican Official Standard NOM-035-STPS-2018 (“Standard 035” or the “Standard”) entered into force on October 23, 2019 in order to establish rules to identify and prevent psychosocial risk factors in the workplace, as well as to achieve a positive work environment in all workplaces. Standard 035 defines psychosocial risk factors as those that may cause anxiety, sleep problems, severe stress or adjustment disorders resulting from an employee’s job duties, work hours or exposure to traumatic events or workplace violence. The Standard sets forth numerous obligations for employers, some of which are mandatory from the time the Standard entered into force, and others that will be mandatory beginning in October 2020. The following is summary of the most relevant obligations. Mandatory obligations … read more