On March 6, 2020, Mexico’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) issued a model Protocol to Address and Eradicate Work Violence (Protocol). Under Mexican law, an employer has an obligation to implement, in agreement with employees, a protocol for preventing discrimination based on gender and addressing violence and bullying or sexual harassment. A recent study on workplace violence against women found that 26.6% of women suffer some kind of violence at work.
The Protocol model is intended to define the procedure or mechanisms to provide assistance to the alleged victims of workplace violence, identify the competent bodies that may provide support on these issues, and promote an organizational culture of gender equality and a work environment that helps eliminate workplace violence. This document includes protection and conduct modification measures to avoid re-victimization and help reduce violence incidences in the first place.
The Protocol also introduces the Attention and Follow-Up Committee, which is an internal joint committee (formed by representatives of the company and representatives of the employees) authorized to assist and monitor the application of the Protocol in each company.
The model Protocol proposes elements to help implement it correctly. These elements include a commitment letter for the members of the Attention and Follow-Up Committee; the Committee’s work plan; interviews and questionnaire guides for alleged victims, perpetrators and witnesses; a form for filing complaints; and a training kit for the members of the Attention and Follow-Up Committee.
The employer obligation to maintain a protocol for preventing discrimination based on gender, addressing cases of violence, bullying and sexual harassment, and eradicating forced and child labor, was introduced on May 2, 2019. The MLSW’s release of the model Protocol is a reminder to employers about the need to implement such policies and procedures, and serves as an example for developing one.
Due to the increased visibility and dissemination of violence cases against women in workplaces, it is expected that the MLSW will soon develop an inspection program aimed to identify those workplaces that do not have a Protocol.