El 23 de noviembre del 2012, el Consejo de Representantes de la Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos ("CONASAMI") aprobó una iniciativa para ajustar los salarios mínimos generales y profesionales vigentes del área geográfica "B", a partir del próximo 27 de noviembre del 2012, a fin de nivelarlos con los del área geográfica "A", significando un aumento del 2.9%. La iniciativa había sido sometida por la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social el pasado 20 de noviembre, siendo votada y aprobada por la CONASAMI tres días después.
El ajuste de 2.9% en el salario mínimo que percibirán los trabajadores que pertenecían a la actual área geográfica "B" aumentará el salario mínimo en $53.50 pesos al mes. Debido al aumento que tendrá efecto a partir del próximo 27 de noviembre, el salario mínimo general diario para las áreas geográficas "A" y "B" será de $62.33 pesos. Los salarios mínimos actuales para las áreas geográficas "A", "B" y "C" se pueden encontrar en el siguiente vínculo: Tabla Salarios Mínimos - CONASAMI.
Es importante señalar que este ajuste es independiente del aumento al salario mínimo que habrá de definirse en el mes de diciembre de este año para el periodo del año 2013.
On November 23, 2012, the Board of Representatives of the National Minimum Wage Review Committee ("Consejo de Representantes de la Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos" or "CONASAMI") approved an initiative (in Spanish) to adjust the general and professional minimum wage for geographic zone "B" employees by 2.9%, in order to equalize it to that of geographic zone "A." This increase will be effective as of November 27, 2012. The initiative, which had been submitted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare on November 20, was voted on by CONASAMI within three days.
The 2.9% adjustment in the minimum wage that geographic zone "B" employees will receive will raise the minimum wage by $53.50 Mexican pesos (approximately $4.11 USD) per month. Given this increase, which will come into effect on November 27, the daily general minimum wage for both geographic zones "A" and "B" will be of $62.33 Mexican pesos (about $4.80 USD). The current minimum wage for geographic zones A, B, and C may be found in the following link: Tabla Salarios Mínimos - CONASAMI.
It is important to note that this adjustment is independent from the minimum wage increase to be determined in December for the 2013 calendar year.
The Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued new guidance to help individuals and employers that conduct business internationally understand and comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Enacted in 1977, the FCPA aims to combat the bribery of foreign officials, and ensure accounting transparency. The new document - A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - is nonbinding, informal guidance for entities of any size that conduct business abroad and/or have foreign subsidiaries.
The 130-page guide discusses such topics as who and what is covered by the FCPA's anti-bribery and accounting provisions; the definition of a "foreign official"; how successor liability applies in the mergers and acquisitions context; what constitutes proper and improper gifts, travel and entertainment expenses; the nature of facilitating payments; what constitutes an effective corporate compliance program; what whistleblower provisions and protections are available under the Act; and what are the civil and criminal penalties, sanctions, and remedies under the FCPA.
For a more detailed discussion of this new guidance, see Littler's ASAP: U.S. Department of Justice and SEC Release Long-Awaited Guidance on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by Katherine Franklin, Earl "Chip" Jones, and Bradley Siciliano.
401(k)s and Other Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Victims of Hurricane Sandy
To further assist employees affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Internal Revenue Service has announced that it is easing procedural and administrative rules to allow 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans to more readily make loans and hardship distributions to employees and their family members who live or work in a designated disaster area. Read the full post here. (November 21)
Even Administrative Agencies Make Mistakes: Corrected Model FCRA Forms Now Available to Employers Who Conduct Background Checks
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken responsibility for issuing several model forms required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It recently acknowledged that the Notice of User Responsibilities and the Summary of Rights published by the Bureau in December 2011 contained errors. The announcement is important for employers because the deadline for using the model forms is January 1, 2013. Read the full post here. (November 19)
More Than 3,000 Whistleblower Claims Were Filed Under Dodd-Frank in 2012, While Only 1 Award Granted, According to SEC Report
The SEC's 2012 Annual Report on this whistleblower program summarizes the agency's experience with the program during the 2012 fiscal year, the types of tips received, and the SEC's enforcement efforts. Read the full post here. (November 19)
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Después de mucho debate ante las Cámaras de Diputados y Senadores, con manifestaciones públicas de apoyo y rechazo, el día 13 de noviembre de 2012, el Congreso aprobó la iniciativa de reforma a la Ley Federal del Trabajo (LFT). Se anticipa que el Presidente Calderón apruebe la reforma antes de terminar su sexenio el 1 de diciembre. Una vez promulgada la reforma, la LFT será transformada de manera significativa y tendrá implicaciones para las empresas con operaciones en México. Para más información sobre las disposiciones claves de la iniciativa de reforma, continúe leyendo la nota de Actualidad Laboral de Littler, El Congreso de México Aprueba la Iniciativa de Reforma a la Ley Federal del Trabajo: Qué Impacto Tendría la Reforma Para las Empresas Con Operaciones en México, escrito por Oscar De la Vega, Eduardo Arrocha y Liliana Hernández. (For the English version, please click here).
After much debate before Mexico's House of Representatives and Senate, as well as public demonstrations both in support and in opposition, on November 13, 2012, Congress approved an initiative to reform the Federal Labor Law (FLL). It is expected that President Calderon will approve the reform before his presidential term ends on December 1. If the reform is promulgated, the FLL will be transformed in significant ways that will have extensive implications for employers with operations in Mexico. For information on the key provisions of the reform initiative, please see Littler's ASAP, Mexico's Congress Approves Initiative to Reform the Labor Law: What the Reform Will Mean for Employers with Operations in Mexico, by Oscar De la Vega, Eduardo Arrocha, and Liliana Hernández. (Para la versión en español, prosiga a leer aquí).
Obama Wins, Senate Democrats Keep Majority - What Will It Mean for Employers?
Now that the election-generated dust has settled, employers are left wondering how the results will impact their operations in the coming four years. Read the full post here. (November 7)
PBGC Amends Its Enforcement of ERISA Section 4062(e)
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has launched an enforcement pilot program under ERISA § 4062(e) that will ease financial guaranty obligations for small and financially stable businesses. Read the full post here. (November 6)
IRS, DOL Offer Additional Tax Breaks, Payment and Reporting, Extensions in Light of Hurricane Sandy
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) have announced new deadline filing extensions and tax relief measures to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. Read the full post here. (November 5)
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In the wake of President Obama's win over Governor Mitt Romney, employers can expect an acceleration of the Administration's effort to dramatically alter workplace policy. Republicans hold on to power in the House of Representatives, while Democrats will remain in control of the Senate. Senate Republicans not only fell short of their push to gain a majority in the upper chamber of Congress, but appear to have lost two of their current 47 seats. Will a closely divided Congress lead to compromise or gridlock? With the balance of power in Washington effectively the same, the legislative logjam that characterized the 112th Congress is likely to continue during at least the next two years of the Obama Administration.
To learn more about the elections' impact on employers, please see Littler's ASAP, How Will the 2012 Election Results Impact Labor, Employment and Benefits Policy?, by Ilyse Schuman and Michael Lotito.
NLRB General Counsel Gives Guidance on "At Will" Provisions in Employee Handbooks
The NLRB General Counsel's Division of Advice has issued opinions in two cases, finding the employers' handbook provisions concerning "at-will employment" to be lawful. Read the full post here. (November 2)
Federal Agencies Grant Motor Carrier, Taxpayer Reprieves in Light of Hurricane Sandy
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has temporarily exempted truckers providing direct assistance to the hurricane relief effort from several of its regulations, and the IRS is allowing taxpayers and preparers affected by the storm until November 7 to file returns and accompanying tax payments that would have been due on October 31. Read the full post here. (November 1)
EEOC Provides Guidance on the Application of Employment Discrimination Laws to Instances of Domestic Violence, Stalking
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released a question and answer fact sheet that appears to extend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act to protect employees or applicants who have experienced domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking outside of the workplace. Read the full post here. (October 29)
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