Mexico Senate Sends Gender Equality Law to House

March 31, 2021

In Mid-March, the Mexican Senate approved a reforms package which included several elements aimed at achieving gender workplace equality.  The reforms would introduce provisions requiring employers to guarantee substantive and pay equality for men and women.  The package will be taken up by the Mexican House of Deputies before needing to receive approval by the Executive Branch to become law.
 
As detailed by Mexican Law Firm Cannizzo, Ortíz y Asociados, the gender equality reforms, if ultimately passed into law, could impose several new obligations on Mexican employers.  These include:
  • Government Certification:  A requirement for companies to submit for government certification certifying the company has gender equality and non-discrimination practices.  The certification will help create a national registry of certified workplaces.  

  • Salary History Ban:  Prohibition on inquiring about salary history.  

  • Pay Parity Requirements:  Prohibition for paying a lower salary for equal work or work of equal value. 

  • Non-Discrimination Rules in Hiring:  Non-discrimination rules, including the salary history and pay parity requirements, will apply all the way through the hiring process.  

  • Employee Lawsuits:  Employees can sue for gender pay discrimination.  

  • “Retaliation” Databases:  Employers cannot keep records of people who have filed lawsuits against their employers.

  • Fines for Non-Compliance:   Employers can face fines for non-compliance.
HR Policy Global Outlook:  Although the HR practices of sophisticated multi-national corporations in Mexico render some of these changes as moot, everyone should still take note of some of the above changes.  Inquiries into salary history are banned in parts of the US already, but companies may still ask those question in some jurisdiction – so this would be a change.  Also, achieving the required government certification is also something which would need to be done.  Additionally, review of employee compensation levels may be needed to address pay parity issues which existed prior to the adoption of the bill.