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Mexican Law/Statute of Limitation - Employment Claims



A friend of mine worked in Mexico for an employer that breached the agreement and did not pay for several months.

What is the statute of limitation regarding employment related claims in Mexico?

Thank you!

ANSWER: Dear Omer,

The general rule is that a claim should be initiated within 1 year. But there are a number of exceptions. One would have to know the particulars of a case before giving definitive advice.

This is the general rule from the Ley Federal de Trabajo.

Artículo 516. Las acciones de trabajo prescriben en un año, contado a partir del día siguiente a la fecha en que la obligación sea exigible, con las excepciones que se consignan en los artículos siguientes.



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QUESTION: Thanks John,

I tried reading Ley Federal de Trabajo (with the help of Google Translate). I don't think the exceptions are relevant.

This is a quite simple story of employer who did not pay salary for few months, promised to pay few times but actually did not pay anything for few months, until my friend stopped working. Nothing special.

Therefore, it seems that the exceptions are not relevant, and my friend could not sue for holdover of pay, interest, fines, damages, etc etc. Am I correct?

Thanks again for your prompt response.


Hi Omer,

The Ley Federal de Trabajo limits what a complaining party can recover. Labor cases that are regulated by the Ley Federal are conducted in "Juntas de Conciliación y Arbitraje" which are administrative and not judicial bodies. However, depending on the circumstances, one could sue in a regular court (Juzgado de Primera Instancia) and then allege breach of contract and seek damages. However, in that case, you would need to prove that there was not a employer/employee relationship. If the employee was not registered in the Social Security system (IMSS) then the "employee" could use this fact to deny the employer-employee relationship and litigate the matter in the Judicial system.

Hope this helps....


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John Lee Ward


I can respond to any question related to Mexican Law and common business practices in Mexico. I can also compare and contrast between the American and Mexican legal systems.


Licenciatura en Derecho from the Universidad del Golfo en Cordoba, Veracruz. (Cedula Profesional No. 5713238) Maestria en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon en Veracruz, Veracruz. (Cedula Professional No. 6358321) Currently a Candidate for a Doctorado en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon. 5 years of litigation experience in Mexico.

Bachelors in Electronic Engineering, California Polytechnic State Univ. Juris Doctor, Concord University in Los Angeles Licenciatura en Derecho, Universidad del Golfo, Mexico Maestria en Derecho, Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico Doctorado en Derecho (In Progress), Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico

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