Recent Jurisprudence – Definition of Continuous and Discontinuous Work Shifts

The Federal Judicial Weekly (Semanario Judicial de la FederaciĆ³n) recently published jurisprudence issued by the Second Collegiate Court on Labor Matters of the Second Circuit, which should be considered a primary source covering a legal loophole contained in the Federal Labor Law (Ley Federal del Trabajo [LF])), specifically in the chapter governing work shifts, which provision fails to define the terms "continuous work shift" (jornada continua de labores) and "discontinuous work shift" (jornada discontinua de trabajo). This case decision and resulting jurisprudence means that a continuous work shift is one which allows a maximum thirty minute break for the worker during the work shift, allowing such break to be divided and allowing the worker to leave the premises during the break period. A discontinuous work shift is defined as one which allows the worker to have break periods exceeding one hour to have lunch and to rest also, also allowing the worker to leave the premises during such periods. Accordingly, it is advisable for companies to review their current work shift policies and, in the event they have what is deemed to be a continuous shift, take into consideration that the thirty minute break should be calculated as working time. This is recommended in order to prevent work shifts from becoming illegal, independently of the payment for overtime that may correspond to their personnel. CCN is available to respond to any questions or provide guidance in relation to the legal effects and scope of this jurisprudence.

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