This week, October 22–29, 2023, Mexico's Congress has continued to advance several pieces of legislation that would amend the Federal Labor Law (FLL), including bills that would make changes to wage and hour requirements, increase Christmas bonuses, prohibit criminal background checks, and promote the hiring of older employees.
Important labor and employment developments have also happened on the judicial front, with the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN)) issuing a decision that establishes the criteria for validating resignation letters in court during litigation.
- Mexico's federal legislature is working on bills addressing wages and hours, criminal background checks, and the hiring of older workers.
- The SCJN recently issued a decision that established the criteria for validating resignation letters during litigation.
Possible Amendments to the FLL or Employment-Related Dispositions
- Workweek reduction. The bill to reduce weekly working hours from forty-eight to forty hours will be subject to discussion through an open parliament during October and November 2023. Possible amendments can be further analyzed, after discussion period is met.
- Criminal background checks Prohibition. The Senate referred to the Chamber of Deputies a bill that would include in the FLL a prohibition on criminal background checks, which are already considered unlawful under other federal laws and dispositions.
- Christmas bonus increase. The bill to increase statutory Christmas Bonus (in Spanish Aguinaldo) from the equivalent of fifteen days of wages to thirty days of wages is under a second revision of the Labor and Social Welfare Commission of the Chamber of Deputies.
- Employees of advanced age quota. The Senate has approved a bill that would require employers with twenty employees or more to ensure that at least 5 percent of their workforces (one employee) is sixty years of age or older. The bill has been referred to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion.
- Minimum wage for 2024. The National Minimum Wage Commission proposed an increase of 12.5 percent to the minimum wage for 2024. However, the proposal has not yet been submitted for formal discussion.
SCJN Establishes Criteria for Validating Resignation Letters in Court During Litigation
Earlier in 2023, the SCJN established a set of criteria for validating resignation letters before the court during litigation. The SCJN held that when an employer alleges that an employment relationship was terminated voluntarily by an employee, the original resignation letter must be exhibited, and it must reflect "convincingly and congruently, the free will, autonomy and spontaneity of the employee to terminate the employment relationship."
In connection with the criteria, on October 4, 2023, the SCJN issued a new decision, stating that Labor Courts must analyze all resignation letters, considering all the particular characteristics of the case, including employees' characteristics such as age, qualifications, and economic/social status.
The criteria results from a case in which an employer introduced into evidence a printed resignation letter and the Labor Court ruled in the employer's favor. However, the plaintiff (a former employee) appealed the resolution, arguing that at the time of the alleged resignation the employee was a domestic employee over the age of eighty who had no knowledge regarding the use of computers or access to a computer. Hence, it was not reasonable that the former employee—considering the individual's particular characteristics—was the one who "typed" and printed the resignation letter and finally executed the resignation.
Considering the above, employers may want to take the time to review their resignation formats/processes, as many of the ones currently in place do not meet the SCJN's criteria and cannot serve as fully valid evidence in litigation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.