"THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE ("STPS" for its acronym in Spanish), JOINTLY WITH THE FEDERAL PROCURATOR'S OFFICE FOR THE DEFENCE OF LABOUR ("PROFEDET" for its acronym in Spanish), MAKES AVAILABLE TO WORKERS A LIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE LABOUR SITUATION IN OUR COUNTRY IN RELATION TO COVID-19.”
After the Mexican government declared a state of health emergency on Monday, March 30, 2020, due to force majeure of the epidemic generated by the COVID-19 virus, and it was reported that the suspension of activities will be suspended until May 30, the STPS and PROFEDET jointly published a newsletter to dispel doubts and safeguard labor rights.
1. In accordance with the new provision that establishes the suspension of work as a result of the declaration of a health emergency due to force majeure derived from COVID-19, how should it be interpreted for the payment of wages?
The Federal Labor Law ("LFT" for its acronym in Spanish) establishes that in the event of temporary suspension due to force majeure, the competent authority shall determine the amount of compensation based on the worker's salary for up to one month. (articles 429 and 430 of the LFT).
At present it is crucial that, depending on the branch of industry and economic activity in which each company or business is engaged, there should be a mutual agreement to protect workers and sources of employment. PROFEDET can assist in reaching agreements that reconcile the interests of both parties.
2. If my workplace is one that can continue to work, what health and safety measures should the employer take to protect the workers?
In the event of permitted activities, people over 60 years of age, pregnant or nursing women, people with disabilities or chronic non-communicable diseases (such as high blood pressure, pulmonary disease, kidney failure, lupus, cancer, diabetes mellitus, obesity, liver or metabolic failure, or heart disease), or those undergoing a disease or drug treatment that suppresses their immune system, should not work.
The healthy distance, hygiene measures and attention to the maximum number of 50 people in the same space must be maintained.
3. If I have symptoms of COVID-19, can they ask me to stop working?
Yes, they can. It's even an obligation. You must be asked to stay home and follow the health authority's instructions.
4. If I am testing positive with COVID-19, can I be fired?
No, it would be an unjustified dismissal and you can approach to PROFEDET for a free defense at 800 9117877 and 8007172942.
5. If the employer wants to forward my vacation meanwhile the period of the COVID 19 coronavirus infection is elapsed, can he do that?
Yes he can, preferably with agreement with the worker (art. 81 of the LFT).
6. My employer wants me to undergo medical examinations to find out if I have COVID-19, can he do that?
Yes, it is the obligation of every worker to submit to medical examinations, in terms of article 134 section X of the LFT.
7. The employer asked me to carry out my activities from home, can he do it?
Yes, it shall be remembered that this is not a vacation period so, if the circumstances allow it, it is appropriate that the activities be carried out from home, as recommended by the health authority meanwhile the National Distance Healing Day.
8. My employer tells me that since we are going to suspend work, he is only going to pay me the minimum wage because that is what the law says, is that correct?
No, the authority determined a health emergency due to force majeure so the criteria of paying a minimum wage does not apply.
9. If my employer separates me from my job, how much time do I have to sue?
Actions by workers who are separated from their jobs are prescribed in two months (Article 518 of the LFT). The statute of limitations runs from the day following the date of dismissal. Considering the current situation, this period will begin to run from the moment the health emergency is lifted.
10. If I have more doubts, where can I go?
If your workplace is under local jurisdiction (construction, services, cafeterias, restaurants, malls, etc.) you should go to the local Procurator's Offices. In the case of Mexico City, you should call 5546059232 or 5546068313. in the State of Mexico at 722 2760 in Toluca, 57708418 in Ecatepec, 58688845 in Cuautitlán, in the State of Puebla at 2223838389
If the workplace is a federal facility, you should call 800 9117877 or 8007172942, where you will be directed to the PROFEDET office.
11. I don't know if my company should continue working.
Check the list published by the Ministry of Health in the Official Journal of the Federation at
If you still have any doubts, please contact the Ministry of Economy by phone at 01800 0832666 or by e-mail at contacto.ciudadano@economía.gob.mx
From the above, we will continue to inform you regarding the sanitary measures that the Federal Government may adopt.
CDMX April 29, 2020.
The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion or provide advice on any particular case. In case you require any specific guidance, before making any decision, you can contact us; we will be delighted to assist you on this matter.