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By Gisela Talamantes Saenz, Attorney at Law with Baja Legal Solutions

It is that time of year in Mexico when the “aguinaldo” needs to be paid.

Article 87 of the Federal Labor Law establishes the “aguinaldo” as an obligation/benefit, with the objective to grant to the employees a sufficient amount of money to cover extraordinary expenses during the year-end holidays. The “aguinaldo” in English would be considered a Christmas bonus although in Mexico, as mentioned above, it must be paid under federal law.

According to the Federal Labor Law, employees shall receive a minimum of 15 days of their salary or more if the parties agree otherwise.

Payment must be made before December 20th of the year according to their current salary, and can be paid in cash, check or wire transfer if the employee has a payroll account.

The right to legally request the payment of “aguinaldo” is by working for one year with the same employer (article 516 Federal Labor Law). It is recommended that the employer receive a signed receipt from the employee once payment has been made.

The noncompliance by the employer of this obligation has a penalty that ranges from $3,238.00 to $323,800.00 pesos per employee. (Articles 992 and 1002 of the Federal Labor Law).

It is important to note that the “aguinaldo” is one of the most important benefits for the employees, therefore knowing how to properly calculate it and to pay it according to the law is basic to avoid labor lawsuits and to increase the productivity and a healthy working environment.

Therefore, is recommended that the employers initiate in advance the calculation of this benefit/obligation so that in case of doubts or controversies there will be enough time to resolve it and avoid any conflict with the employees.

Therefore, employers “aguinaldo” shall be paid on time, before December 20th, in order for employees to be able to cover their expenses during the holidays.

Happy Holidays!

For more information please contact Gisela Talamantes Saenz at gisela@bajalegals.com or via cell phone 612.136.4598.

Website: www.bajalegals.com :  offices in La Paz and Los Barriles.

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