Mexico City, March 6, 2023.
We have recently seen interesting and disruptive changes in labor legislation in Mexico. In this extensive list of updates, we now look at the "menstrual leave" in Mexico City.
Last Tuesday, February 14, the Congress of Mexico City approved to send a proposal to our Federal Congress regarding work permits, known as "menstrual leave", which seeks to benefit all menstruating employees, this means, cisgender women, trans men, non-binary and intersex people. This initiative proposes to reform Articles 132 and 133, as well as to use Article 169 (currently repealed) in the Federal Labor Law, and to incorporate Article 28 Bis in the Federal Law for State Workers, in order to include these leaves.
Since it is an amendment to federal laws, the initiative requires to follow the entire legislative process through Federal Congress. Once it is approved, it will be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation to be fully effective.
According to the initiative, the leave must be requested at the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) or the Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers (ISSSTE), where a gynecologist may diagnose the employee with dysmenorrhea (primary or secondary) and/or an incapacitating pain. The Institute will issue an official medical certificate that will allow employees to request a monthly paid leave for up to 3 days from their corresponding employers. The medical diagnosis will be valid for one year from the date of issuance.
From a medical perspective, primary dysmenorrhea refers to pain derived from menstrual bleeding, without previous pelvic pathologies. Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain arising from conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, among others. Symptoms vary depending on the person, but, according to the initiative, it affects between 45 to 95% of menstruating women of reproductive age in the country.
This initiative constitutes an additional protection for this group of people, and it also strengthens our legal framework in terms of gender perspective, since it will prohibit employers from dismissing employees who incur in more than three absences when they suffer from this condition.
On the other hand, this initiative proposes to grant a paid leave to working women and people with female genitalia so that they can undergo annual mastography and pap smear tests. Likewise, men will be able to have half-day leave to have a prostate examination.
Finally, the amendment seeks to improve the quality of life of menstruating employees, make the issue more visible, and normalize the pain of menstruating people who are forced to carry out their daily activities, despite suffering pain that incapacitates and prevents them from performing them properly.
This initiative is in line with international trends in labor matters in countries such as Spain, which in February of this year approved menstrual leaves as a type of a paid temporary leave as a non-occupational illness. The costs will be covered by the State.
This bulletin was prepared with the support of Gabriela Guadarrama García.
Jorge de Presno