The Rights of Workers in Mexico
Prior to initiating operations, those that seek to manufacture in the country should be informed of the rights of workers in Mexico.
Workers in Mexico fall into one of three categories. These are unionized, non-unionized and “de confianza,” or trusted workers. In general terms, laborers in Mexico that fall into the last category are those that hold supervisory, administration or management positions. Mexican labor law mandates that, regardless of classification, all workers in Mexico must have a written contract that spells out the terms and conditions of their employment. It is important that employers that are new to the country have a basic knowledge of the rights of workers, although market conditions will dictate whether enhanced benefits are required. Workers in Mexico have seven basic rights. They are:
- Vacations and Holidays – Workers in Mexico have a right to six days of vacation during their first year of service. This total increases by two days in each subsequent year until the fourth year of service. After this period, vacation time is increased by two days every five years. Workers in Mexico also are granted a holiday bonus that is equivalent to 25 percent of the amount received during vacation days. During the year they also receive a bonus that is equal to the wages that are earned during fifteen days of work. Additionally, Mexican workers have a work week that is a maximum of 48 hours. They are entitled to one day of rest per week.
- Individual Labor Contracts – As indicated at the beginning of this text, there must always be a written labor contract between the employer and the employee. Included in such a contract should be information that identifies the employer and the workers in Mexico. Also required is language that spells out the duration of employment, service to be rendered by the employee, and place at which such services will be provided. Finally, also required is information pertaining to the salary to be paid, training to be provided, as well as details regarding vacation and time off.
- Non-Discrimination – Mexican labor law forbids any kind of discrimination. Workers in Mexico are protected against discrimination based on race, nationality, sexual preference, religion, social and marital status, age, gender, and disability. Mexican employees are protected by law during the hiring process, as well as when they are in the service of an employer.
- Protection of Personal Data – Although Mexican labor legislation does not indicate specific provisions on this subject, the country’s Federal Constitution establishes the right of workers in Mexico to personal data protection. Additionally, the Federal Law for the Protection of Personal Data establishes that the treatment (obtaining, using, disclosing or storing) of personal data is subject to the consent of the person to whom it belongs. Employers must share corresponding privacy notices with their employees.
- Maternity Leave – Female workers in Mexico are entitled to maternity leave. During this period, the salary, benefits, and rights of women should not be affected. The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) will pay the working mother 100 percent of her daily salary for twelve weeks. If the customary period of maternity leave is to be extended, female workers in Mexico are entitled to 50 percent of their daily salary for a period of up to sixty additional days.
- Termination of the Employment Relationship – To terminate an employee with cause, the employer must maintain records and justify the termination. If the employment relationship is terminated without just cause, the employers must pay workers in Mexico an amount corresponding to three months of salary, plus 20 days of salary for every year of service, as well as a seniority bonus.
- Profit Sharing – All workers in Mexico employed by a company, with the exception of those expressly mentioned by Mexican Federal Labor Law, have the rights to participate in the profits of the company by which they are employed.