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Yesterday my gardener asked me for a 50% raise.  Since I've not been happy with his work, I declined.  He then said I would have to pay his finiquito (retirement).  Then he left without working. "If I don't get my raise, or finiquito, I'm not working."  Am I in any jeopardy if I hire another gardener? Any other ideas?  It looks to me like he's quitting if he doesn't do his work for "how long?" Then I am not responsible for finiquito, correct?

Thanks for any input.

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Details.  How long has he worked for you, how much were you paying him?

He doesn't get the finiquito unless he is terminated.  

Be careful with this guy, he sounds like trouble.  Seek advice from an abogado who handles labor issues and remember the Mexican generally has the advantage if you end up dealing with the government.

 

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fintquito is more like  severance than retirement, . That gardner sounds like trouble talk to a lawyer fast before hiring anyone first.

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17 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

If he quits, you owe him nothing.

Doesn't matter what the law is, there is an aggressive bunch of labour lawyers in Guadalajara who will twist everything and anything, requiring you to spend long days in Guadalajara. Best to cave, get a legal finiquito drawn up, have a pile of cash, hand him the pen. Greed will be the gardener's downfall.

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3 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

Doesn't matter what the law is, there is an aggressive bunch of labour lawyers in Guadalajara who will twist everything and anything, requiring you to spend long days in Guadalajara. Best to cave, get a legal finiquito drawn up, have a pile of cash, hand him the pen. Greed will be the gardener's downfall.

It would be good to know what lawyers you are talking about so we can be aware of them if you find yourself in that situation. What are the lawyer's names?

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1 hour ago, Tiny said:

It would be good to know what lawyers you are talking about so we can be aware of them if you find yourself in that situation. What are the lawyer's names?

Sorry, I don't enough Spanish to know their names. They are also political activists, advocating for the working poor. The language of the letter will be the tipoff, a lot of extreme left rhetoric.

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None of these people have money or desire to go to Guad for a fancy lawyer. If anything, they will use the union here, which is pretty powerful. However, if you can get proof that he quit, you are ahead of the game. How to get that proof? Good question.

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If you don't get his signature on a short letter agreeing he has quit, you are headed for trouble. Don't cave and pay a finiquito but get a lawyer to help you, make notes of everything you two discussed, dates and times, and record each day and time he has not showed up to work since then. A lawyer can help you avoid a big payout or.....he may just decide to return to work. Obviously you don't want that but it would perhaps be his best move. Then you could negotiate a smaller settlement if that's what you want. Otherwise, have him show up as scheduled, make him sit in a chair for his whole shift, no offering water or food, and pay him as normally. Let him observe your new gardener working and see how long he keeps showing up.

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2 minutes ago, Al Berca said:

If you want a professional opinion, pay for professional advice. If not, you're in the right place.

Excellent advice and stated with brevity.

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Again it would help to have some particulars.  How long has he worked for you, how many hours per week, what do you pay him?

The important point is that his simply not showing up for work does not constitute quitting.  Pappys is absolutely correct, you need to really nail this guy down.

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1 hour ago, ComputerGuy said:

None of these people have money or desire to go to Guad for a fancy lawyer. If anything, they will use the union here, which is pretty powerful. However, if you can get proof that he quit, you are ahead of the game. How to get that proof? Good question.

These are not fancy lawyers, they prepare cases for the Labour Tribunal. You have be there, with proof, not words. These men and women are like the civil rights lawyers from the  sixties. The Tribunal often sides with the workers. Their rulings are vigorously enforced. There are local facilitators, not lawyers, who specialize in obtaining finiquitos, a ex-neighbor hired her to fire her housekeeper who was caught stealing. This was a long time ago, don,t remember her. She specialises in construction and industrial firings, and showed in her first meeting with a hard hat and safety vest.

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legal adice is not expensive so get it and you will be ready for the next time as well. Every time I got advicefrom lawyers hereI got plenty for what I pais which was little.. Better be ready than sorry.. Each situation is a little differnt so forget the forum advices for that one. See a lawyer.

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Like I said, they'll use the local union. Whether or not the union operates via Guad, I have no idea, and don't care to find out. Like I also said, get proof of quitting. A signed letter. Pappy gave good advice, and so did everyone who said get a lawyer first.

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If you get a lawyer he/she can file first with the Board and assert the gardener has quit and you are unable to locate him to sign a letter of resignation. That shouldn't cost too much and will send a message to everyone the slug talks to that the gringos are starting, very slowly, to learn how to play the Mexican labor game.It may cost a couple of pesos but you will have the satisfaction of "winning" in a foreign country, which most ex-pats can't say they've done. Get after it NOW.

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On 6/6/2018 at 10:04 AM, mexicoblue said:

Yesterday my gardener asked me for a 50% raise.  Since I've not been happy with his work, I declined.  He then said I would have to pay his finiquito (retirement).  Then he left without working. "If I don't get my raise, or finiquito, I'm not working."  Am I in any jeopardy if I hire another gardener? Any other ideas?  It looks to me like he's quitting if he doesn't do his work for "how long?" Then I am not responsible for finiquito, correct?

Thanks for any input.

The proper way to handle it is to write up a document with the pro-rata vacation pay and pro-rata alguinaldo amounts. The line before his signature should state that he agrees he has quit. Make him sign to get the money from your hand. 

Also you can't go wrong getting a binder and write each week how much you are paying for what days and get the to sign when they get the money. Keep these full pages in a file folder forever. Now you can prove what their wage was and how long they have worked for you.

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On 6/6/2018 at 12:07 PM, ComputerGuy said:

None of these people have money or desire to go to Guad for a fancy lawyer. If anything, they will use the union here, which is pretty powerful. However, if you can get proof that he quit, you are ahead of the game. How to get that proof? Good question.

Alway have your employee(s) sign off for aguinaldo and vacation pays. If an employee requests a raise and you don't want to pay more do it in writing and have him sign on the dotted line. Some employees start getting difficult when they want to get a final payment, an easy way is just ignore it and start reducing their working hours, eventually they will agree with a settlement which of course must me signed off by both parties.

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Just finalized a convoluted Mexico claim for 'pension/finiquito'.  Acquired an advanced 'degree of knowledge'

as to the system of 'justice' both protocol and process...

Paid a dear amount of 'tuition' for a case that was 'from the get go' politically and financially in favor and

to the advantage of the Mexican national.  Am myself educated in legal and finance matters

none of which were successfully applied to the 2 year 'in the TAKING" experience.

Am happy to share my experience as it may assist in advance decisions about how to make the outcome

less expensive bearing in mind that JUSTICE is TRULY BLIND to our expectations if we are from another

country.  Mexico is a beautiful country but definitely a DIFFERENT WORLD...

 

😕

 

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A VERY sad post. You may know something about laws somewhere else but you're not in Kansas anymore. We don't need more of the "Ugly Americans" here.

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How it will work: Speaking from experience

You, the employer do not know how little it will cost you to get rid of a real headache.  You the employer will have to hire a lawyer at very little cost. You, the employer feel like you have been unjustly wronged.

Your gardener, the employee, either knows someone, or will go to the labor court, but before he even gets into the court building there will be 20 people representing Labor Lawyers that will be handing out their cards and telling you, the gardener that they will represent you for free. Your gardener pays nothing for his lawyer. You will be served sometime later and it won't be quickly. The time starts on last day your gardener works, and the clock keeps on ticking you keep paying.

You, the employer say this is bullshit and do nothing or, you the employer now get scared and hire a lawyer to defend yourself. Of course it will cost you much more than it would have if you would have taken care of it right away. You will not win, because your gardener's lawyer is in kahoots with the labor court and everything is fixed ahead of time.

For something that would have cost you maybe $5000 pesos,  that could turn into ten or twenty times that much. Don't fool around, this is much more serious than you think. Spend some pesos and get rid of this headache pronto. Hire a lawyer, there are plenty  that know labor laws and they can help you.

This is one of the pitfalls that happen when you live in this beautiful country. Just chalk it up to experience. When ever you hire an employee understand it comes with that liability.

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I am surprised that more "experts" on these blogs do not recommend hiring your maid and Gardiner as Independent contractors. 

Write up a "contract ". This is the wage and duration time..You ( the maid or Gardiner) are responsible for medical ins etc., and by the way you can be fired for due cause after verbal and  written  warnings.  

I would think this weeds out the professional trouble  makers who are around and look at the Gingos as soft targets  with deep pockets. 

Incidentally most/many employees hired by the technical computer company's for their  assembly lines etc, are hired on contract via a independent labor company 

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If they are not true independent contractors and take you to court , you will lose anyways.

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On 7/30/2018 at 4:36 PM, lakeside7 said:

Incidentally most/many employees hired by the technical computer company's for their  assembly lines etc, are hired on contract via a independent labor company 

But the employer is not completely off the hook in this situation. The concept of "dual employers" comes into play. Also the definition of "independent contractor" often doesn't work. If you determine what days/times they work, define their duties in any way, or supervise them directly they are employees. But all that is based on laws in other countries and we are in Mexico now.

The laws here are not meant to punish employers and more importantly not to single out foreigners. This is the way labor laws and employee relationships work in the country in which we have chosen to live. Respect and follow those laws. Get a lawyer, do what they tell you to do (including paying the amount stipulated by Mexican law) and get on with life. We had to do that with a gardener the first couple of years we were here. VERY simple and surprisingly inexpensive. I strongly disagree with the suggestion to treat this as a do it yourself project. If you don't handle the severance, sign off and payment details EXACTLY right the clock could continue to run and it could be a major issue. Labor laws here are very black and white and as others have said generally favor the worker. This is by design and is sort of a safety net for people who generally make very little money. It is really easy to do things the right way with the help of a lawyer and almost impossible to do on your own. 

Good luck. And if you haven't done it already I hope you will get with a lawyer first thing Monday morning. You will be very happy to have this behind you.

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