Quick Hits

  • Mexico’s Congress closed its final ordinary session of 2023 on December 15, 2023, and will resume activities in February 2024.
  • Bills to be taken up address a potential reduction in the number of working hours in a week, union fee payments, nursing leave, and restrictions on criminal background checks.

Mexico’s Congressional Session Periods and Legislative Process

On December 15, the Mexican Congress closed its final ordinary session for 2023. When the next ordinary session opens in February 2024, the bills that were presented or discussed during the 2023 legislative sessions, but not yet finalized, will continue at the stage where they were left.

In Mexico, the legislative process is as follows:

1. Initiative. The first stage begins with the proposal of a new law or amendment of an existing law. An initiative may come from the president, any member of the Senate or Chamber of Deputies, the local legislative authority, and in some occasions, citizens if the needed requirements are met. Only the Chamber of Deputies can propose legislation regarding taxes, military recruitment, and external debt. The party that initiates the process is recognized as the Origin Chamber, and the other is called the Revision Chamber.

2. Discussion. Once the president of the Origin Chamber receives the initiative, it must be sent to the commission that most relates to the content of the bill. The bill will be published in the Parliamentary Gazette and the commissions must prepare an analysis of the content, including the impact, pros, and cons of the bill. The analysis is shared with the rest of the parliamentary groups to prepare for voting.

3. Approval. At the next session, the bill and the analysis will be read and then a vote will be held on the bill. Successful bills are sent to the Revision Chamber for discussion and approval. This step has three different results:

  • The bill is approved without comments and will be sent to the next legislative step.
  • The bill is rejected, in which case it must be returned to the Origin Chamber to be amended, voted on again, and returned to the Revision Chamber for another vote. (An amended bill that receives a favorable vote from the Revision Chamber will continue in the legislative process. An amended bill that does not receive a favorable vote cannot be presented again for consideration until the next legislative period.)
  • The bill has minor modifications made by the Revision Chamber, in which case the bill must be resent to the Origin Chamber only to discuss and vote on the minor modifications. If the bill is voted in favor of by the majority, it will pass to the next legislative step.

4. Enactment and publication. Once both chambers approve the bill, it must be sent to the president for enactment, which consists of approving the bill and accepting its incorporation into the Mexican statutes, as well as the publication of the bill in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación). A bill that is published in the Gazette must include the date when the law takes effect.

Status of Current Labor and Employment-Related Legislation

Since October 2023, we have discussed multiple bills presented by members of the Congress that relate to labor and employment matters. Congress approved bills that increased the minimum wage for 2024 and added items to the list of occupational diseases and permanent disabilities. Below is the status of legislation that was not finalized in the final ordinary session of 2023.

  • Workweek reduction.This bill is in the approval stage of the process. It was sent to the Revision Chamber, but its discussion is on hold until the ordinary session begins in February. The bill would reduce the standard workweek from forty-eight hours to forty hours.
  • Union fee payments. This bill is in step three of the process, and was recently approved in the Origin Chamber and sent to the Revision Chamber. Its discussion is on hold until the ordinary session begins in February. The legislation would eliminate the “opt-out” clause and instead mandate the deduction of union dues from employee compensation.
  • Nursing periods.The bill is in step three of the process. Its discussion is on hold until the ordinary session begins in February. The legislation would extend the nursing period from six months to up to two years.
  • Adding a new article to the Federal Labor Law (FLL) regarding due diligence.This bill is in step two of the legislative process, but the president of the Origin Chamber has not sent the bill to the Labor and Social Welfare Commission, which is responsible for bills related to labor and employment legislation. Under this legislation, employers would be required to have in place a code of ethics, mechanisms to protect employee rights and eradicate forced labor, programs to prevent environmental damage, protocols for addressing noncompliance with the law and internal work regulations, and take steps to promote a healthy workplace environment.
  • Prohibition on criminal background checks.This bill is in step three of the process, and was recently approved in the Origin Chamber and sent to the Revision Chamber. Its discussion is on hold until the ordinary session begins in February. The bill would add a provision to the FLL on background checks, which are already subject to rules under other federal laws and dispositions.
  • Christmas bonus increase.This bill is currently being discussed in the Labor and Social Welfare Commission, meaning it is in step two of the legislative process. The bill would raise the annual Christmas bonus from the equivalent of fifteen days of wages to thirty days of wages.
  • Employees of advanced age quota. This bill is currently being discussed in the Labor and Social Welfare Commission, meaning it is in step two of the legislative process. The bill would require employers that have twenty employees or more to ensure that at least 5 percent of their workforces are at least sixty years of age.
  • Seniority premium calculations.This bill is currently being discussed in the Labor and Social Welfare Commission, meaning it is in step two of the legislative process. The legislation would reduce the number of years of service for an employee to be entitled to a seniority premium—in the case of an employee’s resignation—and to eliminate the cap for its calculation.
  • Inclusion in the workplace. This bill was presented in November 2023, and stayed at step one of the legislative process. This bill was not sent to a commission, but it was published in the Parliamentary Gazette. The bill proposes to modify the General Law of Inclusion for People with Disabilities to require employers that have fifty or more employees to have at least 2 percent of their workforces be composed of employees with disabilities.
  • Equality verification programs.This bill was presented in November 2023, and stayed at step one of the legislative process. The bill was not sent to a commission, but it was published in the Parliamentary Gazette. The bill would amend the General Law for Gender Equality to include a provision requiring verification programs related to working conditions and salaries at companies in order to obtain gender equality.
  • Work shifts for single parents.This bill was presented in November 2023, and stayed at step one of the legislative process. This bill was not sent to a commission, but it was published in the Parliamentary Gazette. The bill would amend the FLL to allow single parents who have children up to sixteen years of age to plan their work shifts.
  • Classification of app-based couriers as employees.This bill was presented in November 2023, and is still at step one of the legislative process. This bill was not sent to a commission, but it was published in the Parliamentary Gazette. The bill would add a new chapter to the FLL that would regulate and classify app-based couriers as employees. Employees are entitled to such things as salary-based social security rights and tips distributions.
  • Unionized employees’ rights.This bill was presented in November 2023, and stayed at step one of the legislative process. This bill was not sent to a commission, but it was published in the Parliamentary Gazette. The bill would prohibit employers and unions from retaliating against employees based on their decisions regarding whether to be members of a union.

Ogletree Deakins’ Mexico City office will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the Cross-Border blog as additional information becomes available.

Pietro Straulino-Rodríguez is the managing partner of the Mexico City office of Ogletree Deakins.

Natalia Merino Moreno is an associate in the Mexico City office of Ogletree Deakins.

María José Bladinieres is a law clerk in the Mexico City office of Ogletree Deakins.

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