We explain what the Federal Labor Law of Mexico is, its history and how it is structured. In addition, its characteristics and importance.

What is the Federal Labor Law of Mexico?

The Federal Labor Law of Mexico is the governing law of labor law in this country , above which is only the provisions of the Political Constitution of the Republic, where the right to work is enshrined in its article 123.

It is the result of the legal evolution of the legal considerations necessary to regulate work : guaranteeing the safety of workers, their rights and duties, as well as providing a general and specific framework of rules of coexistence to carry out work in the terms that the republic and democracy require .

The text of the law establishes what is necessary to determine employer-worker relationships , as well as the procedures to be followed if any of these parties do not comply with their obligations. Its area of action, logically, is restricted to strictly work.

Background of the Federal Labor Law of Mexico

Background of the Federal Labor Law of Mexico

There was not always a Mexican labor law. During the colony there was no similar order, except what was contained in the Laws of the Indies of 1680 .

Work relationships were, like so many others, determined by the racial caste to which one belonged and by other principles originating from Catholic Spain .

However, during the liberal government of Benito Juárez , in 1870, the first civil codes would be dictated that would regulate work, and that would give rise to the regulations of Manuel González later regarding the work of servants, day laborers, porters, etc. .

The first labor laws emerged in the twentieth century , as laws relating to workplace accidents, in the states of Veracruz (1904) and Nuevo León (1906). But we would have to wait until the Mexican Revolution for a true legal corpus to emerge on the matter.

Origin of labor law

When the Political Constitution of the Mexican Republic was promulgated in 1917, the right to work was enshrined in its article 123 , thus giving rise to the legal debate on labor matters in this nation.

In the preparation of the first Federal Labor Law, the provisions of the Labor Law of the State of Veracruz of 1918 were taken as a basis , and in 1931 the first law that would regulate the matter was promulgated , a direct antecedent of the one currently in force. validity.

The First Federal Labor Law

The First Federal Labor Law

This first Federal Labor Law was published on August 28, 1931 , repealing all kinds of previous codes and ordinances on the matter throughout the Mexican country. It had 685 articles and remained in force until 1970, when a new labor law was enacted.

The Second Federal Labor Law (current)

Published on May 1, 1970, this new labor law is in force until today , practically identical, since it has undergone very few modifications. Only in 2012 would a reform of its content be achieved.

Structure of the Federal Labor Law

Structure of the Federal Labor Law

The body of this law is made up of 16 chapters that describe each of the particularities of work in the Mexican Republic, and whose thematic titles are the following:

  • General principles. Where the general mode of operation of the law is explained.
  • Individual work relationships.  Where these relationships are detailed and explained in detail. It has five chapters.
  • Working conditions.  Where the real and legal framework in which the work must occur roughly is regulated  . It is made up of seven chapters.
  • Rights and obligations of workers and the employer.  Where what has been said is explained in detail, in different and structured sections. It is made up of six chapters.
  • Women's work. Everything related to female labor law. It has a "bis" that regulates the work of minors as well.
  • Special jobs. Non-ordinary cases of employment relationship are detailed. It is made up of seventeen chapters, stipulating each case of particular special work.
  • Collective labor relations. The legal framework of collective agreements and collective contracts is detailed. It has eight chapters.
  • Strikes The right to strike is enshrined and defined in two different chapters.
  • Work risks. What is related to workplace accidents.
  • Prescription. The loss of labor rights not exercised.
  • Labor and social services authorities. Official forms of control and attention to the labor condition. It has thirteen chapters.
  • Legal staff of the conciliation and arbitration boards. It details the legal structure for solving labor problems.
  • Representatives of workers and employers.  Everything related to union and / or union representation in three different chapters.
  • Procedural labor law. It establishes the procedural framework of labor relations in twenty chapters. It is the most extensive of the corpus.
  • Execution procedures. It stipulates how the procedures of this law must be carried out in three different chapters.
  • Responsibilities and sanctions. It details what has been said for both employers and employees .

2012 reform

The reform voted in 2012 to the Mexican Labor Law, as part of a series of reforms led by the National Action Party (PAN) that contemplated the notion of “decent work” as a way to confront the numerous labor inequalities in society Mexicana and ensure better care for the human rights and moral conditions of workers. This proposal sparked a debate between those who supported and those who opposed the reform, but it was finally approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

Reform of 2017

Reform of 2017

Facing the new labor guidelines and what was debated in the V Congress "Evolution of Mexican Labor Law", business sectors would propose a new reform of the law, to update its content to new forms of labor relationship such as  home office  and work dual, as well as other aspects of hiring that, they consider, were not clearly stipulated in the 2012 reform.

Importance of the Federal Labor Law

All labor laws are of vital importance in modern liberal democracies , since they create a protective framework for the worker and establish the norms in which work must occur, so that it is a fair, equitable, dignified and productive social event, which contribute to the integral development of societies.

Illegal work

Illegal work

 It is understood that any form of work not explicitly contemplated in this law will in any case be governed by the fundamental principles of its spirit, and will not in any case contravene what is stipulated in it.

In the event that this is the case, the employment relationship will be understood as illegal and illegitimate and will be considered a crime punishable by law.

Global labor debate

The forms of labor relationship have continuously changed as societies evolve and, in particular, after the incorporation of the Internet as a work tool that allows to overcome distances and production times, as well as to cover an entire immense labor sector that, given The recent nature of the medium still requires much debate about the ideas of work in a globalized society.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


Luke is passionate about fostering student involvement and connection. He studied psychology for his major and likes learning about the past. Luke aims to specialize in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. .

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