Issue #
September 2011

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Recent Jurisprudence – Definition of Continuous and Discontinuous Work Shifts

September 8, 2011

The Federal Judicial Weekly (Semanario Judicial de la Federación) recently published jurisprudence issued bythe Second Collegiate Court on Labor Matters of the Second Circuit, which should be considered a primarysource covering a legal loophole contained in the Federal Labor Law (Ley Federal del Trabajo [LF])),specifically in the chapter governing work shifts, which provision fails to define the terms “continuous workshift” (jornada continua de labores) and “discontinuous work shift” (jornada discontinua de trabajo). This casedecision and resulting jurisprudence means that a continuous work shift is one which allows a maximum thirtyminute break for the worker during the work shift, allowing such break to be divided and allowing the worker toleave the premises during the break period. A discontinuous work shift is defined as one which allows the workerto have break periods exceeding one hour to have lunch and to rest also, also allowing the worker to leave thepremises during such periods. Accordingly, it is advisable for companies to review their current work shiftpolicies and, in the event they have what is deemed to be a continuous shift, take into consideration that the thirtyminute break should be calculated as working time. This is recommended in order to prevent work shifts frombecoming illegal, independently of the payment for overtime that may correspond to their personnel. CCN isavailable to respond to any questions or provide guidance in relation to the legal effects and scope of thisjurisprudence.