Termination of Employment: Basic Guide, Part 3

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Imagen en Freepik

We continue with the causes of justified dismissal as indicated by the Mexican Federal Labor Law. This time, we’ll mention those that penalize damages to the company and when the safety of the establishment is compromised.

You might be thinking that the workforce in Mexico is very conflictive, but that’s far from reality. In my experience, I’ve encountered a few isolated cases, which are a result of poor induction and training. It’s always good to know that even in those cases, I can rely on legal tools to act within the law.

Causes of Termination of Employment

Law: “V. The worker causes intentional material damages during the performance of duties or related to them, to buildings, works, machinery, instruments, raw materials, and other objects related to the work;

VI. The worker causes the damages referred to in the previous fraction provided they are serious, without malice, but with such negligence that it is the sole cause of the damage;

VII. The worker compromises, due to their imprudence or inexcusable carelessness, the safety of the establishment or the people in it;”

What does this mean?

First, let’s explain what is meant by “material damages… to buildings, works, machinery, instruments, raw materials, and other objects.” For this, I’ll give examples illustrating different scenarios where a worker could cause such actions:

Damage to buildings: An employee at a construction company, during the demolition process of an interior wall, causes structural damage to an adjacent wall that was not meant to be affected, requiring costly repairs.

Damage to ongoing works: A construction worker, while operating an excavator carelessly, accidentally hits a newly installed column, irreparably damaging it and delaying the progress of the project.

Damage to machinery: An employee at a factory, incorrectly using a metal cutting machine, damages the cutting blades, requiring costly repairs and temporary production shutdowns.

Damage to work instruments: A laboratory technician, negligently handling delicate test equipment, damages sensors and electronic components, requiring costly repairs and the loss of important data.

Damage to raw materials: A forklift operator, while transporting material pallets in a warehouse, loses control and damages several containers of raw materials, resulting in material loss and additional costs to replace them.

Cause VI

At this point, there might be some confusion between malice and negligence, so let’s explain these concepts:

When it refers to the action being serious, without malice, it means that the damage caused by the worker is significant or serious but was not intentional. There was no malicious intent behind the worker’s actions; however, the resulting damage is considerable.

The same article mentions “with such negligence that it is the sole cause of the damage,” which implies that the worker acted carelessly or irresponsibly in their task, and this negligence was the sole direct reason for the suffered damage. In other words, if it weren’t for the worker’s negligence, the damage wouldn’t have occurred.

For example, if a factory employee forgets to turn off a machine at the end of their shift, causing a fire due to machinery overheating, this would be an example of a situation where the damage is serious but without malicious intent. The employee’s negligence in forgetting to turn off the machine was the sole direct cause of the fire. In this case, the worker didn’t intend to cause the fire, but their carelessness was the main cause of the damage.

Cause VII

This cause of justified dismissal refers to situations in which a worker jeopardizes the safety of the establishment where they work or the people in it due to their imprudence or inexcusable carelessness. When mentioning “imprudence,” it refers to a lack of caution or care when performing a task or handling situations that may pose a safety hazard. When talking about “inexcusable carelessness,” it implies a serious negligence on the part of the worker, where they fail to comply with established safety protocols despite being aware of the risks associated with their actions.

This can also refer to actions such as leaving access doors open that should be closed, not following safety protocols when handling machinery or equipment, or taking actions that may result in fires, leaks of hazardous substances, or other risks to the safety of the workplace. This also implies that the worker takes actions that endanger the health or physical integrity of their colleagues, clients, visitors, or other people present in the establishment.

To justify dismissal based on these causes, the employer must present solid evidence supporting the accusations. This evidence may include incident reports, testimonies from eyewitnesses, security records, photographs, videos, or other documents demonstrating the material damage caused, the negligence of the worker, or the imprudence compromising the safety of the establishment or people.

To be continued…
Termination of Employment: Basic Guide, Part 2
Termination of Employment: Basic Guide, Part 1

“Justice is goodness measured to the millimeter.”

– Emma Andievska –
Roger Mariano

Roger Mariano

Deputy General Manager, Manager, Consultant, Professor, lecturer, with over 20 years of experience in key roles in the Human Resources field, often serving as a change agent in both National and Multinational Companies. I aim to support my national and international colleagues, as well as anyone interested in learning about my experience in human resources management in Mexico.

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