Navigating the legal complexities of terminating an employee in Mexico requires a keen understanding of what constitutes “just cause.” As tech companies in the region hire and manage talent, it’s crucial to recognize that terminating an employee without valid grounds can lead to significant legal challenges. So, what actions warrant a just cause for termination?
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Defining Just Cause for Termination
Under Mexican labor laws, just cause for termination involves instances where an employee:
- Has falsified documentation related to their employment.
- Acts with dishonesty, violence, or ill-treatment towards co-workers during work hours.
- Intentionally damages company property.
- Commits immoral acts within the workplace.
- Disobeys the employer or managers.
- Attends work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Is incarcerated.
Furthermore, serious misconduct includes:
- Misrepresentation of qualifications for the job.
- Revealing trade secrets or confidential information.
- Repeated unexcused absences or insubordination.
- Failure to adhere to workplace safety procedures.
- Bullying or sexual harassment.
The Probationary Period and Termination
Even during a probationary period, which can last from 30 to 180 days depending on the role, terminating an employee still requires just cause.
Employers are not immune to legal repercussions during this period and must document any reasons for termination meticulously.
The Burden of Proof
In cases of dismissal, the burden of proof lies with the employer. If an employee disputes their termination, the employer must substantiate the claim of just cause. This emphasizes the importance of maintaining thorough records of any misconduct and the corresponding disciplinary actions taken.
Prohibited Grounds for Termination
It’s equally important to understand what is not considered just cause. Employers cannot terminate an employee based on gender, age, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs, as these are protected characteristics under Mexican Federal Labor Law.
Long-Term Employees and Egregious Behavior
For employees with long tenures of 20 years or more, termination for cause is only valid if their behavior is particularly egregious or recurrent. This stipulation protects long-standing employees from being dismissed without substantial justification.
The law mandates that employers provide written notice to the employee stating the reasons for termination, with specific dates when any misconduct occurred. This notice must be delivered personally or through a competent authority within five business days of the decision.
For tech companies in Mexico, the ability to terminate an employee justly hinges on understanding and strictly adhering to the defined legal standards.
CodersLink can be an indispensable partner in this process, offering expertise to ensure that terminations are conducted legally and ethically, minimizing risk and maintaining the integrity of the company’s operations and reputation