Ministry result

The Mexican Ministry of Labor has published Official Standard 035

On October 23, 2018, the Mexican Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) published Official Standard 035, “Psychosocial Risk Factors at Work – Identification, Analysis and Prevention” (NOM-035-STPS-2018), for “to identify, analyze, and prevent psychosocial risk factors, as well as to foster a favorable organizational environment in the workplace. Implementation of NOM-035 was phased in, depending on the size of the employer, and the standard became effective for all workplaces on October 23, 2020. An Overview of Employer Compliance Obligations under the standard follows below.

Highlights of NOM-035

In order to comply with NOM-035, each employer must “[e]establish in writing, implement, update and disseminate a psychosocial risk prevention policy. The specific requirements are based on the size of the employer.

Small employers (One to fifteen employees)

Small employers are required to adopt measures to “prevent and control psychosocial risk factors” and “promote a favorable organizational environment”, as well as to combat practices contrary to a favorable organizational environment and acts of violence at work . Small employers must also identify employees who have suffered serious traumatic events in the course or on the occasion of their work and refer them to the appropriate resources, such as “the social or private security institution, or … the doctor of the work or work”.

Medium-sized employers (Sixteen to fifty employees)

In addition to complying with the requirements that apply to small employers, medium-sized employers must:

  • apply questionnaires to identify psychosocial risk factors at least once every two years;

  • conduct medical examinations and psychological assessments for employees subject to workplace violence and/or psychosocial risk factors, when signs or symptoms appear; and

  • keep records on “[t]it results from the identification and analysis of psychosocial risk factors” resulting from the favorable organizational environment; the control measures adopted; and employees who “have undergone clinical examinations or assessments and who have been found to be exposed to psychosocial risk factors, acts of workplace violence or serious traumatic events”.

Major Employers (Fifty-one or more employees)

Large employers are subject to all requirements applicable to small and medium employers, and they must also assess their organizational environment at least every two years.

And after?

NOM-035 requires employers in Mexico to continue to take steps to comply with applicable requirements, depending on the employer’s size/number of employees. Employers may want to apply the questionnaires to identify psychosocial risks and assess the enabling organizational environment at least every two years, as required by NOM-035. Given that full implementation of the law came into effect in October 2020 and that questionnaires are required at least every two years, employers may wish to prepare now for the completion of questionnaires.

Employers may want to ensure that they have effective record keeping measures in place, such as keeping records of questionnaires, screening measures adopted and employees who have undergone medical examinations, such as the requires NOM-035. Records or evidence may be kept in printed or electronic form.

Employers may wish to note that the STPS may at any time conduct workplace inspections to verify that companies are complying with their NOM-035 obligations. Failure to comply with the obligations of NOM-035 may be sanctioned by the STPS with fines up to approximately $25,000.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 244