Application of Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination in the Workplace

December 24, 2007
Application of Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination in the Workplace

The Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination (La Ley Federal para Prevenir y Eliminar la Discriminación or LFPED) was publishedin the Official Journal of the Federation on June 11, 2003. Even though such law has been in effect since then, there has not been an agencyresponsible for its application until recently, when the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination was created (Consejo Nacional ParaPrevenir La Discriminación). This law protects employees from discrimination based on ethnic origin, nationality, sex, age, disability,socioeconomic status, health condition, pregnancy, language, religion, opinion, sexual preferences, marital status or any other status that couldimpede or nullify the recognition or exercise of an employee’s rights and equal opportunities for those individuals within Mexican territory.Among other discriminatory practices, the LFPED establishes the following: (a) prohibition against free election of employment for restrictingopportunities to gain tenure/seniority or promotion within an organization; (b) establishes differences in salary, benefits and workplace conditionsare handled fairly. (The LFT distinguishes classes by aptitude, which is often difficult to demonstrate in practice); (c) limiting access to trainingand professional development programs; (d) applying any type of use or custom against human dignity or integrity; (e) impeding one’s right tochoose a spouse or partner; (f) exploiting or treating employees abusively or in a degrading manner; (g) inciting hatred, violence, rejection,mockery, defamation, injury, persecution or exclusion; (h) engaging in or promoting physical or psychological abuse based on physical appearance,form of dress, speech, mannerisms, or for publicly assuming a sexual preference. Those employees and workers in Mexico who sufferdiscriminatory practices may present a petition before competent labor authorities and at the same time present a complaint before the NationalCouncil for the Prevention of Discrimination (Consejo Nacional Para Prevenir La Discriminación or CONAPRED) and hold their employerresponsible before the CONAPRED process for damages and losses suffered, and may also request economic compensation through a civil lawsuit.Until now, very few cases of employees and workers have been filed, but the LFPED has been relatively unknown. However, it could becomewidely used in the labor field, and it is recommended that human resources employees in companies such as managers, supervisors and foremen beaware of its existence in order to avoid subjecting employees and workers to this type of treatment or practice.

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