Companies will seek amparos against COVID-19 being catalogued as an occupational hazard

Note published in El Contribuyente, Noticias [News] Section, by Diego Coto.
Read the note in its original source

On January 8 of this year, the Technical Council of the IMSS [Mexican Social Security Institute] published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) a resolution in which it is established that the disease caused by COVID-19 is an occupational hazard, regardless of the worker’s activity.

Since October, the Manufacturing, Maquiladora and Export Services Industry (IMMEX) requested from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and from the legislators that the disease not be considered as an occupational hazard. The problem with this is that it increases the insurance premium and the amount of the employer’s fees for companies.

In an interview with Reforma, Bernardo Elizondo Ríos, partner of the Adame y Elizondo Abogados Law Firm, explained that the premiums could increase in up to 50%, starting in March.

According to the specialist, this measure would have serious consequences for companies that have had compensations for illness, death or disability deriving from COVID-19. Additionally, he qualified this measure as unconstitutional, as it violates the rights of legality and of legal certainty of employers and of people entitled to social security benefits.

Companies could file amparos against this measure

According to several specialists, companies could resort to amparo proceedings to counter the new measure. According to labor lawyers, it is almost impossible to determine where the contagion occurred, so it cannot be argued that the hazard is occupational.

In an interview with Reforma, Héctor de la Cruz, a lawyer at the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas Firm, said that the measure is unfair because it creates an obligation for the employer to pay for disabilities without concrete evidence that the disease was contracted at its workplace. Given all of the above, the specialist said that it is probable that several companies will resort to filing amparo proceedings.

According to specialists, the measure implies that if the worker falls ill, 100% of the base contribution salary must be paid as disability. Additionally, in the event of any complication or sequela, the worker will also have a right to compensation.

With information from Reforma.