Amendment to the Federal Labor Law in Mexico: New Rules of Conciliation and the Creation of Labor Courts

Amendment to the Federal Labor Law in Mexico: New Rules of Conciliation and the Creation of Labor Courts

Héctor González Graf

Héctor González Graf

July 2, 2019 11:12 AM

The amendment to the Federal Labor Law published on May 1, 2019 establishes new provisions regarding conciliation prior to jurisdictional proceedings. Important new institutions will be introduced with the creation of Labor Courts of the Judicial Branch of the Federation and of the Federative Entities, as well as the creation of the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration. The following important novelties are highlighted:


In the new model of labor justice, workers will have to resort to a conciliatory instance as a prerequisite to be able to exercise their legal actions in the labor Courts. This requirement will not be necessary in cases of discrimination in employment due to pregnancy, sex, race, ethnic or social condition; designation of beneficiaries; claim for social security benefits; claim for ownership of Collective Bargaining Agreement, as well as conflicts related to union statutes and their modifications, in which legal actions may be exercised without exhausting the conciliatory instance.

If the employer fails to appear at the conciliatory stage a fine of 50 to 100 times the UMA shall be imposed.

The conciliation shall be carried out by the conciliating officer, who will issue the summons to a conciliation hearing, assess the reasons for the parties' failure to attend the conciliation hearing, propose agreements and certify compliance with the agreements.

Agreements entered into with the Conciliation Centre shall have full legal effect and may only be challenged if they contain conditions that imply a waiver of rights.

The importance of Conciliation is central to this Reform, privileging dialogue as an alternative means of conflict resolution, and trying to avoid saturation of the labor courts. The new labor procedure should significantly reduce the time it takes to resolve lawsuits.

Conciliation has always been a fundamental part of labor procedural law, but the increase in the workload of the Conciliation and Arbitration Boards, the reduction of the budget and the lack of professionalization of civil servants, together with the economic interests of lawyers who seek to prolong trials in order to make them more expensive, led to significant delays in the provision of justice by the Conciliation and Arbitration Boards.


The reform provides for the creation of several new labour authorities.

Labour Courts

The reform orders the creation of Federal and Local Labor Courts that will depend on the Judicial Branch of the Federation and the Judicial Branch of the Federative Entities that will be in charge of processing and resolving conflicts between workers and employers.

These courts replace the Local and Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Boards and must begin their functions in a maximum of three years in the Federative Entities and four years for the Federal Courts from the publication of the decree.

Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration

The creation of the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration is ordered, which will have as its main attributions and functions the following:
  • To carry out the conciliatory function as a new alternative mechanism for the settlement of labor disputes.

  • To register all collective bargaining agreements, internal labour regulations and trade union organizations throughout the country.

  • It will be a Decentralized Public Organism of the Federal Government, with domicile in Mexico City and have regional offices in the Federative Entities. The Center must have legal personality and its own patrimony, full technical, operative, budgetary, decision and management autonomy.

  • The Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration shall initiate its functions in matters of registration of labor associations and collective bargaining agreements within a period of no more than two years from the entry into force of the amendment to the Act, taking into account the budgetary possibilities.

  • The Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration must initiate its functions as a Federal conciliatory authority within a maximum of four years from the entry into force of the decree.

Within one hundred and eighty days it must issue the organic law of the Decentralized Public Body called "Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration".
  • The Conciliation Centers of the Federative Entities and Mexico City will have the following main functions:
  • To perform the conciliatory function in conflicts between employers and workers.
  • Put into practice the Professional Career Service to train and professionalize personnel that performs conciliatory functions.

Registry function and administration of collective agreements

As long as the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration does not become operational (maximum two years), the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) and the Conciliation and Arbitration Boards will continue with their registration responsibilities of unions in accordance with the law in force until May 1, 2019.

Jurisdictional and conciliatory function

The Conciliation and Arbitration Boards will continue to hear labor lawsuits currently in process, as well as those generated from the entry into force of the decree until the Labor Courts come into operation.

While the labor courts and the local conciliation centers enter into function, the Labor Defense Attorney's Office retains the conciliatory functions temporarily.

Collective bargaining agreements must be reviewed at least once within the next four years in accordance with the procedure set out in the reform. Failure to review or comply with workers' knowledge and approval requirements will result in the termination of the collective bargaining agreement.

In order to consult the workers on the content of the Collective Agreements, the STPS must establish a verification protocol within three months of the decree coming into effect.

Coordinating Council for the Implementation of the Labor Reform

The Coordinating Council for the Implementation of the Labor Reform is created as a national body for consultation, planning and coordination that will have the objective of establishing national policy and coordination to implement the Labor Justice System at the federal and local levels under the terms of the law, with full respect for the attributions of the Federal and Local Powers.

This Council was established by the Secretary of Labor and a Council made up of representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of the Economy, the Attorney General's Office, CONAGO (Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores), the National Commission of Superior Courts of Justice and the National Conference of Labor Secretaries.

Its main responsibilities include: the creation and facilities of the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration; the transfer and digitization of files; the creation and entry into office of labor courts; promoting the conclusion of matters that are pending and pending resolution; promoting professionalization in labor justice; as well as undertaking procedures to guarantee union democracy and authentic collective bargaining.

Labour reform will gradually take effect. Issues that affect administrative, individual and collective jurisdictional procedures will be subject to the functioning of the new conciliatory, registry and jurisdictional authorities, so the legal framework prior to the reform will continue to be applicable.

# # #

For more information, please contact any of MGGL's Partners:
  • Héctor González L. (

  • Santiago Marván U. (

  • Héctor González G. (

  • Nelson Guerrero R. (

  • Emilio I. Garzón J. (

  • Cristian J. Lamas P. (

Tel. +52 55 5340 6840 - -

Related Articles

Destiny Fulfilled

by Sara Collin

Was Angela Reddock-Wright destined to become a lawyer? It sure seems that way. Yet her path was circuitous. This accomplished employment attorney, turned mediator, arbitrator and ADR specialist nonpareil discusses her career, the role of attorneys in society, the new world of post-pandemic work and why new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson represents the future.

Interview with Lawyer Angela Reddock-Wright

Road to Somewhere

by Mark LeHocky

How can attorneys take steps to improve settlement efforts and avoid unpleasant surprises as they map out a dispute resolution? One litigator-turned-general counsel-turned mediator (with some help from a distinguished rock star) points the way forward.

Improved Dispute Resolution Settlement

Meeting Halfway

by Julia B. Meister

To resolve family and business disputes including wills, trusts, estates and more, mediation is often a more effective, gentler and cheaper option than litigation.

Mediation to Resolve Wills, Trusts, Estates

It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas

by Best Lawyers

Michael Polkinghorne discusses why arbitration or mediation is a better option.

An Interview With White & Case LLP

How to Advise Clients in International Arbitration and Mediation

by Best Lawyers

Karl Pörnbacher discusses how his firm stays at the forefront of advising clients.

An Interview With Hogan Lovells

An Interview With Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

by Best Lawyers

Russia's 2020 "Law Firm of the Year" in Arbitration & Mediation Law

An Interview With Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev

Split Decisions

by Lindsey Kujawa and Susan A. Hansen

Marriage is changing—and so is divorce. Family lawyers must be there for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.

Divorce is Changing Family Law

Lesleigh Wiggs Monahan on What Makes a Good Family Lawyer

by Best Lawyers

Lesleigh Wiggs Monahan of Polidori Franklin Monahan & Beattie discusses her 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" award.

Lesleigh Wiggs Monahan LOTY Interview

Bringing Choices to Family Law

by Nicole Ortiz

What alternatives do you have to litigation in a divorce?

Why Collaborative Law Could Help your Divorce

Trending Articles

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees

by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees

by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023

by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada 2023

by Best Lawyers

The year 2023 marks the second edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada, highlighting professionals earlier in their legal careers all across Canada.

Blue background with white stairs formed out of lines

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States

by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Canada™

by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 16th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada™ and 1st Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Canada™

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some

by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

All Eyes to the Ones on the Rise

by Rebecca Blackwell

Our 2023 honorees recognized in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ tell us more about how their path to law formed, what lead them to their practice areas and how they keep steadfast in their passion to serve others.

Person walking between glass walls towards window

Choosing a Title Company: What a Seller Should Expect

by Roy D. Oppenheim

When it comes to choosing a title company, how much power exactly does a seller have?

Choosing the Title Company As Seller

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom

by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

The Real Camille: An Interview with Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Camille Vasquez

by Rebecca Blackwell

Camille Vasquez, a young lawyer at Brown Rudnick, sat down with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer to talk about her distinguished career, recently being named partner and what comes next for her.

Camille Vasquez in office

Announcing the 2022 "Best Law Firms" Rankings

by Best Lawyers

The 2022 “Best Law Firms” publication includes all “Law Firm of the Year” recipients, national and metro Tier 1 ranked firms and editorial from thought leaders in the legal industry.

The 2022 Best Law Firms Awards

Caffeine Overload and DUI Tests

by Daniel Taylor

While it might come as a surprise, the over-consumption of caffeine could trigger a false positive on a breathalyzer test.

Can Caffeine Cause You to Fail DUI Test?

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch – The Future of Legal Talent Looks Bright

by Justin Smulison

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch is launching its second edition in the United States, and after talking with both a company leader and esteemed lawyers on the list, the importance of this prestigious list is evident.

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America 2022

Wage and Overtime Laws for Truck Drivers

by Greg Mansell

For truck drivers nationwide, underpayment and overtime violations are just the beginning of a long list of problems. Below we explore the wages you are entitled to but may not be receiving.

Truck Driver Wage and Overtime Laws in the US

Press and Publicity: How Television and Social Media Impact Legal Careers

by Justin Smulison

In recent years, with social media giving minute by minute reporting, many lawyers are finding themselves thrust into a spotlight they never planned for. How are lawyers grappling with unexpected stardom, media coverage and merciless influencers?

Close up of camera at news station