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Mexico
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2010    

References
  • The Mexican Constitution [MC] dated 5 February 1917, as last amended in August 2009
    (Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - available in spanish)
    Date: 28 Aug 2009; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • The Federal Labour Act [FLA], dated 2 December 1969 as last amended in January 2006
    (Ley Federal del Trabajo - available in Spanish)
    Date: 17 Jan 2006; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants
Remarks:
  • Following the principles of art. 123(A) of the Constitution, the Federal Labour Act governs the employment relationship of "workers, employees, domestic workers, craftspersons and in general to all contracts of employment". (see art. 1 FLA).

    Those relations regulated in art. 123(B) of the Constitution (public and civil servants) do not fall into the scope of application of FLA and are subject to separate regulations (which were adopted by Federal Act of 27 December 1963).

    In addition, according to art. 351 and 352 FLA, the FLA does apply to family workshops "talleres familiales", except for the provisions related to hygiene and safety.

    Note that workers in positions of trust, seafarers, flight crews, railway workers, road transport workers, the labour force in zones under federal jurisdiction, rural workers, commercial travellers, professional sportsmen, actors, musicians, home workers, domestic employees, workers in hotels, restaurants, bars and similar establishments, family undertakings, resident medical doctors during specialist training and employees of universities and autonomous institutions of higher learning are subject to the special provisions of the Title VI of the FLA, which comprises arts. 181 to 353 u.

Types of employment contracts - 2010    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory limitation.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    Remarks:
    • The employment relationship may be for a specified piece of work or of specified duration or of unspecified duration. In the absence of any express stipulation, the relationship is to be deemed to be of unspecified duration.
      A contract for a specified piece of work may be made only when such contract is required by the nature of the work (art. 36, FLA). A contract of a specified duration may be made only in the following cases (art. 37, FLA):
      *where the nature of the work to be done so requires;
      *when the contract is to provide a temporary substitute for another employee; and
      *in the other cases provided for in this Act.

      Employment relationships for work in mines lacking in minerals capable of paying the cost of the operation or for the reopening of abandoned or unworked mines may be for a specified period, for a specified piece of work or for the investment of a fixed capital sum (art. 38, FLA).

      If on the expiry of the specified period the material to be worked still subsists, the employment relationship continues for as long as this circumstance continues (art. 39, FLA).

  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No statutory limitation.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No statutory limitation.

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2010    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 47 FLA.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; economic reasons; worker's capacity
Remarks:
  • The FLA establishes a distinction between dismissal (despido) (art. 47) and termination (terminación) (art. 53).
    Under the FLA dismissal (despido) can only be justified by reasons related to the worker's conduct (listed below). Economic reasons and, worker's incapacity are considered to be grounds for termination (terminación) in addition to other grounds such as force majeure, death of the worker, termination of the work.. (art. 53)

    *worker's conduct: art. 47 FLA provides for a detailed list of acts that allows the employer to dismiss the workers:
    - if the worker or the trade union which proposed or recommended him or her deceives the employer by means of false certificates or references attributing to the worker abilities, skills or qualities which he or she does not possess. These grounds for termination cease to be operative after the worker has completed 30 days' employment;
    - if the worker in the course of his or her employment commits a dishonest or dishonourable act, violence, threats or ill-treatment towards the employer or any member of the employer's family or the top management or managerial personnel of the undertaking or establishment, except in the case of provocation or self-defence;
    - if the worker is guilty of any of the acts mentioned in the preceding clauses towards any fellow workers and workplace discipline is affected as a consequence of such acts;
    - if the worker is guilty outside his or her employment of any of the acts mentioned in the second ground above and these acts are of such a serious nature as to render the fulfilment of the contract of employment impossible;
    - if the worker in the performance of his or her work or in connection therewith willfully causes material damage to the buildings, works, machinery, tools, raw materials or other objects connected with the work;
    - if the worker causes damage as in the preceding clause of a serious character acting without malicious intent but with negligence which is the sole cause of the damage;
    - if the worker by his or her inexcusable imprudence or carelessness endangers the safety of the establishment or the persons therein;
    - if the worker is guilty of immoral conduct in the establishment or workplace;
    - if the worker reveals manufacturing secrets or communicates matters of a private character to the detriment of the undertaking;
    - if the worker is absent from work more than three times in a period of 30 days without the employer's permission or without sufficient reason;
    - if the worker refuses to obey the employer or his or her representative without sufficient reason in matters connected with the work under the contract;
    - if the worker refuses to adopt preventive measures or follow the procedure laid down for the prevention of accidents or disease;
    - if the worker attends work in a state of intoxication or under the influence of a narcotic or harmful drug unless, in the latter case, he or she has a medical prescription. Before commencing service, the worker should inform the employer of the facts and submit a certificate signed by a medical practitioner;
    - if the worker receives an executory judgement sentencing him or her to a term of imprisonment preventing him or her from fulfilling the obligations under the employment relationship; and
    - on grounds similar to those laid down in the preceding clauses if they are of equal gravity and entail similar consequences as far as the work is concerned.

    *Worker's capacity: according to art. 53 IV), the worker's physical or mental incapacity or obvious disability making it impossible for him or her to perform the work constitutes a valid ground for termination.

    Note that poor performance of the worker is not a statutory ground for dismissal.

    *Economic reasons: according to art. 434 FLA, constitute reasons for termination:
    - the self-evident non- profitability of the operations,
    - the legally declared insolvency or bankruptcy.
    No other economic reasons are listed.




Prohibited grounds: marital status; race; sex; sexual orientation; religion; political opinion; social origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; financial status; language; participation in a lawful strike; state of health; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • * A dismissal on the ground of trade union membership or participation in a lawful strike amounts to a dismissal without cause (art. 123 A XXII of the Constitution).

    * Art. 3 of the FLA prohibits discrimination between workers on the grounds of race, sex, age, religion belief, political opinion or social condition.

    (Note also that Art. 1 of the Constitution establishes a general prohibition of any discrimination on the grounds of ethnic or national origin, gender, age, disabilities, social condition, health condition, religion, opinions, orientations, marital status).

    In addition the Federal Law to prevent and eliminate discrimination of 2003, last amended in 2007 defines discrimination as any distinction on the grounds of ethnic or national origin, sex, age, disability, social or financial condition, health condition, pregnancy, language, religion, opinions, sexual orientation, marital status or any other reason. In addition anti-Semitism and xenophobia are considered to be discrimination (art. 4).

    Art. 9 (III, IV and V) considers to be discriminatory conduct, inter alia, the restriction of opportunities for access to, remaining in and progression in employment. However, this law does not establish any civil or criminal liabilities, but rather promotional administrative measures which can only be imposed on individuals provided that they have accepted the corresponding conciliation agreement.
    (See: ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, Comments on the ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation Convention, 1958, No. 111, Observation on Mexico, CEACR 2005/76th Session).

    Fulfilling state duties and performing jury services – art 132 FLA (VIII): Employers must allow workers the necessary time to exercise their right to vote and to fulfil jury, electoral and registration services as observed in article 5 of the Constitution when the tasks must be fulfilled in working hours.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers with a long period of service
Remarks:
  • *Art. 161 FLA: Workers with more than 20 years of service can only be dismissed on of the grounds listed art. 47 (reasons related to the worker's conduct) provided that such reason is particularly serious or makes it impossible to continue the employment relationship.


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2010    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 47 FLA: written notification with the effective date of the dismissal and the reasons for dismissal. If the worker refuses such notification, the employer shall inform the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration.
    If the employer fails to observe this requirement, the dismissal can be considered unjustified.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • No statutory minimum notice period.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 0 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 0 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 0 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 0 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 0 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 0 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 0 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: No

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Remarks:
    • However, when the employee fails to accept the dismissal notification, the employer shall notify the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration (art. 47 FLA).

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2010    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    No specified number in the legislation.

    Remarks:
    • Art. 434 II, III, IV: Grounds for collective termination:
      - the known and obvious inability of the undertaking to pay its way;
      - the exhaustion of the substance being extracted by a mining undertaking;
      - statutory declaration of insolvency proceedings or bankruptcy if the competent authority or the creditors decide on the definitive closure of the undertaking or the definitive retrenchment of production.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • See: art. 900-919 FLA on Proceedings applicable to collective disputes (including collective termination): duty to inform and consult with employees representatives.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • *Notification to the Board of Conciliation: Art. 435 FLA.
      *Proceedings before the Board of Conciliation: art. 903-919 FLA.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • See: art. 900-919 FLA on Proceedings applicable to collective disputes (including collective termination): duty to inform and consult with employees representatives.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: Yes

    Remarks:
    • *Art. 435 FLA: approval by the Board of Conciliation Arbitration
      *Proceedings before the Board of Conciliation when collective termination is based to the self-evident non profitability of the operations of the undertaking: art. 903-919 FLA.

      On the proceedings to be followed in case of bankruptcy, see art. 782 FLA.

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Remarks:
    • However, during the proceedings before the Board of Conciliation, if the employer and the trade union reach an agreement, the Board will approve it (art. 906 IV) FLA).

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 437 FLA: seniority-based priority to remain in the undertaking.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): No

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 438 together following 154 FLA . In equality of circumstances, employers must prefer Mexican workers over non-Mexican workers, those that satisfactory served for a longer period of time, those who do not have any other economic income and have family responsibilities and those that are members of a trade unions.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2010    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • No severance pay.
      Redundancy payment:
      Remarks:
      • Art. 436 FLA: 3 months' salary + seniority award (12 days per year of service).
      • tenure ≥ 6 months: 90 day(s)
      • tenure ≥ 9 months: 90 day(s)
      • tenure ≥ 1 year: 102 day(s)
      • tenure ≥ 2 years: 114 day(s)
      • tenure ≥ 4 years: 138 day(s)
      • tenure ≥ 5 years: 150 day(s)
      • tenure ≥ 10 years: 210 day(s)
      • tenure ≥ 20 years: 330 day(s)

      Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2010    

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      Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

      Remarks:
      • Art. 48 FLA

      Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
      Art. 50 FLA. Compensation for unfair dismissal consists of the following:

      - if the employment relationship is for a specified period of less than one year, an amount equal to the total amount of remuneration payable for one-half of the entire period of employment; if the employment relationship lasted for more than one year, six months' wages for the first year of service plus 20 days' wages for each additional year of service;

      - if the employment relationship is for an unspecified period the compensation consists of 20 days' wages for each year of service

      - in addition to the compensation referred to in the preceding clause, three months' wages plus the entire remuneration payable in respect of the period from the date of dismissal to the date on which the compensation is paid.

      Remarks:
      • Art. 50 FLA.

      Reinstatement available: Yes

      Remarks:
      • Art. 48 FLA: The worker may apply to a Conciliation and Arbitration Board for reinstatement in the post occupied or for compensation in the form of three months¿ wages, at his or her choice.

        Under art. 49 of the FLA, the employer may, in the following cases, be released from the obligation to reinstate the worker by paying the compensation referred to in art. 50:

        in the case of workers who have been employed for less than one year in the undertaking;
        if sufficient evidence is furnished to the satisfaction of the Conciliation and Arbitration Board that the worker on account of the work performed or the nature of the work is in direct and permanent contact with the employer and the Board is of the opinion, taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case, that continuation of the work is impossible;
        in the case of employees in a position of trust;
        in domestic service; and
        in the case of casual workers.

      Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

      Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

      Remarks:
      • Art. 123 (A)( XX)of the Mexican Constitution, 58 FLA.
        In Mexico, employment disputes are heard by the Conciliation and Arbitration Board (Junta de Conciliación y Arbitraje). They can be heard by the Federal or Local board according to distribution of competencies (Art. 621 FLA).

        This is a tripartite body that exercises jurisdictional functions. See art. 605ff for composition and structural organization. Note that this was modified in November 2012.

      Existing arbitration: No

      Source of additional information - 2010    

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      Links

      Profile of National Legislation covering Termination of Employment (no longer updated) »