The Labor and Social Welfare Commission of the Chamber of Deputies will analyze an initiative to sanction companies that ask workers for a early resignation or the signature of a blank document upon being hired, with a fine ranging from 12,027 to 182,818 pesos, a sanction that could be multiplied for each worker affected.
The early resignations they are a recurring practice in the labor market in Mexico. Specialists in Labor Law have pointed out that these documents were born as a bad response to bad legal practices, thus generating a vicious circle. However, over the years its use has intensified with other intentions.
In order to eliminate this practice, the proposal promoted by the deputy Amalia Dolores García Medina, of Movimiento Ciudadano (MC), proposes that the blank waivers are punished in the same way as the Federal Labor Law (LFT) punishes the presentation of false documents and witnesses.
In addition to the fine, by sanctioning this practice based on article 1006 of the LFT, employers could receive a penalty of six months to four years in prison.
“Unfortunately, it is a recurring practice of employers or companies to force workers to sign blank documents, in order to carry out subsequent unjustified dismissals without compensating them, to the point of integrating said documents in the employee’s file to use it. at the time they so decide, thus affecting their human rights,” says the legislator.
Legislative efforts to turn off this malpractice are not new. In 1998, for example, Deputy Alfonso Méndez Ramírez (PAN) presented a project so that these documents would only be valid when ratified by the Arbitration Conciliation Boards, just like the agreements or settlementspresented in writing with a circumstantial account of the facts that motivated it.
“The form of these resignations occurs in some cases illegally and even criminally, since it is not a real quit jobbut it is obtained and done as a condition for granting a job, which is a blank resignation that a tricky boss will use when he wants or it is convenient for him to fire a worker, without the latter really resigning his job, but only It is worth the document that he took out blank when giving him the job, ”said the legislator at that time.
The Judiciary has issued various criteria to determine in which cases a resignation presented in a labor lawsuit by employers is valid or not. Even in 2020 the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) issued a jurisprudence so that in the documents where there is a signature and a fingerprint, it is only enough to prove the falsity of one of the two elements through graphoscopy, dactyloscopy or documentoscopy tests, so that the resignation letter lose probative value.
The Federal Labor Law provides for at least 15 grounds for dismissal, among which are committing harassment or attending while intoxicated, among others. But apart from these causes, companies are obliged to compensate people who are separated from their jobs without a justified reason.
Amalia Dolores García points out that when it comes to a dismissal without justification, workers have the right to receive three months of salary, seniority premium, among other concepts. However, the early resignation it can be used by employers to ensure that people quit of their own free will and not pay their fair share.
New role for inspectors
The proposal of the deputy of MC also contemplates empowering the labor inspectors to make extraordinary visits to companies to inhibit the practices of:
- Altering a document signed by the worker with a different purpose to incorporate the waiver.
- Require the signing of blank papers in hiring or at any time of the employment relationship.
Both actions would be declared in article 48 BIS of the Federal Labor Law as inadmissible in a labor lawsuit for unfair dismissal.
In addition to this, the project also seeks that the extraordinary inspections are carried out in the event that a worker reports this malpractice to the Labor Defense Attorney’s Office (Profedet), or to the inspection department of the federal or local labor authority.
To reinforce this part, the deputy Amalia García proposes that the non-execution of extraordinary inspections before the knowledge of a complaint due to early resignation or signature of a blank sheet of paper be a special cause of liability for inspectorswhich can be sanctioned with reprimands, suspensions of up to three months or dismissal of the public servant.