In order to start a disciplinary process against an employee, employers in Mexico must have the disciplinary process set out in a document known as an Internal Work Regulation (IWR). Mexico’s Federal Labor Law (FLL) names and regulates this document. An IWR must be filed before the competent labor board to be enforceable.

Labor boards are due to transform into labor courts and consequently, a Federal Center for Conciliation and Labor Registration will be created to (among other things) approve and keep track of IWRs.

An IWR will be enforceable as long as employers:

  1. Draft their IWRs. This is done by creating a joint commission with an equal number of representatives from both the employer and the employees. The joint commission must have the sole purpose of creating the IWR document.
  2. Ensure the disciplinary processes and sanctions stated within the IWR are clear and extensive enough to be defended in trial and that these do not leave any issues for clarification, given that these could delay the process.
  3. File the IWR before the competent labor board (or Federal Center for Conciliation and Labor Registration when created).
  4. Once the IWR is filed, it will be analyzed for compliance with mandatory requirements set out in the FLL, and if in full compliance then the IWR should receive official approval.
  5. Upon approval, the IWR is deemed legal and in compliance with FLL and therefore enforceable.
  6. The approved IWR must be given to every employee and posted in a visible location within the workplace.

Regarding compliance with mandatory requirements, take note that the criteria of Mexican labor boards may change from state to state. Therefore, once the IWR is ready to be filed, it should be reviewed to ensure compliance with any specific and technical procedures required by the local labor board. Some examples of local procedures and documents are:

  1. Preparing a submission writ addressed to the competent local labor board;
  2. Setting out the employer’s domicile record;
  3. Requiring the employer’s representative be granted a power of attorney for filing the IWR before the labor authority and signing the presentation writ; and
  4. Referencing the employer’s incorporation deed.

Written by Natalia Merino (law clerk) of Ogletree Deakins.

© 2020 Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.