5. Managing COVID-19-Related Employee Issues
Management of quarantine, childcare and medical leave for employees affected by COVID-19.
Due to the suspension of activities ordered by the Federal Government, many companies in Mexico have decided to grant unpaid leave to those workers who do not want to work (even if they are considered as part of an essential activity) or for any other personal reason related to COVID-19. Mexican legislation does not contemplate childcare and medical leave for employees “affected” by COVID-19, unless the employee is infected.
Employees who fear infection and refuse to work.
Once the employer reopens facilities, the employee has the obligation to return to his/her work. If the employee refuses to work, he/she can be sanctioned according to the Internal Regulations (Reglamento Interior de Trabajo), which, to be mandatory, should be duly registered before the Labour Board. Moreover, the employer is entitled to terminate the labour relationship without responsibility, if the employee is absent more than three times / four days in a period of thirty days, without the permission of the employer or justified cause.
Disclosure of employees who are infected.
According to the Technical Guidelines for Health and Safety in the Work Environment issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the employer shall implement measures to ensure that employees who are infected or have symptoms, shall be located in an isolated place in order to be checked by a doctor.
The Guidelines also established that the employer shall provide mechanisms for non-discrimination, in regard to employees who are, or were, infected.