What is Mexican Labor Law?

It is common to confuse this relationship with an employment relationship. Or, confusing a contract for the rendering of professional services with a labor contract and by virtue of this, the service provider or whoever performs the work considers that he/she enjoys the rights and benefits that workers have under the Federal Labor Law, which is not so, in such cases there will not be an employment relationship, because as mentioned before, for an employment relationship to exist there must be subordination, which does not exist in the contracts for the rendering of services.

Employment relationships may be: for work, seasonal or for a determined or undetermined period of time and, if applicable, may be subject to probation or initial training. If not expressly established, the employment relationship will be for an indefinite period of time.

It is worth mentioning that in 2012, Article 38-B was added to the Federal Labor Law, which provides for the employment relationship for initial training, which is the one in which the employee is obliged to render his or her subordinate services under the direction and command of the employer in order to acquire the knowledge or skills necessary for the activity for which he or she is going to be hired. The maximum duration of this type of relationship is three months or up to six months in the case of workers for management positions.

In addition, employment relationships may be considered according to the nature of the activities or functions performed by the employee, and thus we speak of trust workers, base workers or plant workers. The employment relationship may be terminated by the employee or the employer at any time, for just cause, without incurring liability. Some of the causes for termination of the employment relationship provided by law without liability for the employer are: deceit on the part of the employee or, if applicable, the union; the employee’s dishonesty, acts of violence or mistreatment of the employer, his family members, administrative personnel or directors or the employer’s customers or suppliers; the employee revealing trade secrets or disclosing confidential matters; the employee having more than three absences; the employee disobeying the employer or its representatives without just cause; among others.

The respective laws and international treaties to which Mexico is a party will be applicable to labor relations in all matters that benefit the worker as of their entry into force.

Working Age

The law expressly establishes that minors under fifteen years of age are prohibited from working. Those over fifteen years of age may freely render their services; however, the law establishes certain limitations, for example, those over fifteen years of age and under eighteen years of age may not perform activities dangerous to their health, safety or morality; in addition, they may not be hired when they have not completed their basic compulsory education, except in those cases approved by the labor authority. Those over fifteen years of age and under sixteen years of age need authorization from their parents or guardians and in the absence of such, from the union to which they belong, from the Conciliation and Arbitration Board, from the Labor Inspector or from the Political Authority.

Working minors must be paid wages and may take legal action before the competent authorities. The work of minors is subject to special surveillance and protection by federal and local labor authorities. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare will create programs to eradicate child labor.

Women’s Labor

Women enjoy the same rights and have the same obligations as men. The law, in the case of women, establishes certain specific provisions with the purpose of protecting maternity; for example, they may not perform unhealthy or dangerous work, night or industrial work after 10:00 p.m. or overtime, when their health or that of the product is endangered. In addition, working mothers are entitled to rest periods, breastfeeding, day care services, among others, under certain conditions established by law.

Labor Contracts

The law establishes the presumption of the existence of a contract and the existence of an employment relationship between the person who provides a job and the person who receives it.

Employment contracts may be individual or collective. The individual employment contract is the one by virtue of which a person is obliged to render to another person a subordinate personal work, by means of the payment of a salary. The collective contract is the agreement entered into between one or more workers’ unions and one or more employers, or one or more employers’ unions for the purpose of establishing the conditions under which work is to be performed in one or more companies or establishments.

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