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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seeking opinions.

We purchased our house in December 2013. We told the previous owners we had no interest in their maid but would appreciate the contact info for the gardener. (He had been the gardener here for 15+ years over several owners). He asked for 2500 pesos per month which was a one day a week visit. The previous owners had him mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, weeding the beds, and handyman chores.

On his first visit he explained the pool to me and thereafter I have taken care of the pool myself. I took over the mowing of the lawn task because he never seemed to get the garden in decent shape in an eight hour visit. Last November his tasks had come down to just trimming plants and weeding. My wife and I started to do a large part of the weeding ourselves. (Up to that point we had been cooking his lunch and inviting him to eat with us). We cut back his visits to every other week (600 pesos per 7 hour work day + 1 hour lunch) - no more free lunches . Still in December we paid him a 2500 peso Christmas bonus.

Last month he started working particularly slowly. I found him sitting under a tree when he should have been working. At the end of the day we told him - see you in 3 weeks. He was here today and at the end of the day said - see you in three weeks. He said - no - I don't want to do this anymore - I want a 'liquidacion'. We said no way. We never agreed to such a thing - he was a contractor not an employee. He wouldn't leave and I ended up giving him 600 pesos for today and 1200 pesos 'liquidacion'.

We have signed receipts for every peso we have ever paid him - including a signed statement where he accepts the 1200 pesos as liquidation.

I can appreciate Mexico not wanting it's workers exploited. But gosh - we paid this guy VERY well, gave him a months Christmas bonus, fed him, drove him to the bus. We truly feel that we were exploited / robbed.

Sorry for the lengthy post.
 

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Taken from another site written by an Expat facilitor.

"This is where you calculate termination pay. If the person quits amount owing is very little and select under CALCULAR: " SOLO FINIQUITO".

LIQUIDACION + 20 DIAS is an outright termination without documented cause.

LIQUIDACION is a mutually agreed termination.

Salario Diario: take the amount paid in a week and divide by 7 for daily rate. For example, a person who works 2 days a week and makes 350 p / day. That is 700 pesos divided by 7 for a daily rate of 100 pesos.

Salario Diario Integrado: should be the same as daily rates (in this example it is 100 pesos) unless you are paying extra for healthcare etc."



Calculadora Finiquito/Liquidación


OK he took the $1200 pesos and signed for it. It looks like you still need to give him 20 days pay + and maybe more because he worked a year and a half for you. It might be more than that as I didn´t fill out your data in the calculator in the link above. If he was paid $600 pesos per day in the end maybe he needs another $12,000 pesos.
 

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First error you do not get familiar with the help and sit down with them for lunch, they are employees not buddies.
You have to tell people the rules of the games and if you cut back you cut back not give them the same amount of money or terminate them .
The little things raise expectations and end up badly.
Being over generous may make you look like a sucker who has too much money and doing manual labor which garner or maid are hired to do put you on their level..not a good idea.

Do you speak Spanish? Did the man go away happy or does he want more? If he went away happy hopefully you do not have a problem if not see a labor attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Taken from another site written by an Expat facilitor.

"This is where you calculate termination pay. If the person quits amount owing is very little and select under CALCULAR: " SOLO FINIQUITO".

LIQUIDACION + 20 DIAS is an outright termination without documented cause.

LIQUIDACION is a mutually agreed termination.

Salario Diario: take the amount paid in a week and divide by 7 for daily rate. For example, a person who works 2 days a week and makes 350 p / day. That is 700 pesos divided by 7 for a daily rate of 100 pesos.

Salario Diario Integrado: should be the same as daily rates (in this example it is 100 pesos) unless you are paying extra for healthcare etc."



Calculadora Finiquito/Liquidación


OK he took the $1200 pesos and signed for it. It looks like you still need to give him 20 days pay + and maybe more because he worked a year and a half for you. It might be more than that as I didn´t fill out your data in the calculator in the link above. If he was paid $600 pesos per day in the end maybe he needs another $12,000 pesos.
Thanks for the reply. Sorry I don't understand that calculator.
As I interpret the words - since he was making 600 pesos every 14 days his daily pay was about 43 pesos per day. 20 days = 857 pesos. No ?

We have a VERY intelligent Mexican friend who points out he was not an employee but a contractor offering services. He did not work every day, not even every week. We have several people who offer services - the fumigator comes once a month for a few hours, the electrician comes on an as needed basis etc.
 

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FINIQUITO is the term used when terminating an employee and a lawyer might be expensive to draw up the termination papers. I know it should have 2 copies and be signed and witnessed. I wonder if a well stocked papelaria might have a standard FINIQUITO form.

Here is a sample letter from the internet, maybe he could copy it with his data.

http://www.ejemplode.com/11-escritos/1241-ejemplo_de_carta_finiquito.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
FINIQUITO is the term used when terminating an employee and a lawyer might be expensive to draw up the termination papers. I know it should have 2 copies and be signed and witnessed. I wonder if a well stocked papelaria might have a standard FINIQUITO form.

Here is a sample letter from the internet, maybe he could copy it with his data.

Ejemplo de Carta Finiquito
He was NOT an employee. In fact he often boasted how many CLIENTS he had.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Sorry I don't understand that calculator.
As I interpret the words - since he was making 600 pesos every 14 days his daily pay was about 43 pesos per day. 20 days = 857 pesos. No ?

We have a VERY intelligent Mexican friend who points out he was not an employee but a contractor offering services. He did not work every day, not even every week. We have several people who offer services - the fumigator comes once a month for a few hours, the electrician comes on an as needed basis etc.
Correct he was making $300 per week for 8 hours divided by 7 is $43 per day times 20 equals $857 plus the time worked for 1 1/2 years will bring it up. Also because he was paid more earlier on will effect the total I suspect, why the calcultor is there to help.

No. There are some discussions on part time employees or contractors not having a contract/paying taxes etc. does not excuse you from the new labor law unfortunately.

If he choses to got to the labor board you will find out as some people have.
 

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He was NOT an employee. In fact he often boasted how many CLIENTS he had.
It doesn´t matter unless he had a contract with your and paid taxes and gave you receipts etc. It is a messy situation to get into unless you realize he was your part time gardner and not a lanscaping contrator even if he claims to be one. If it were me I would write up a letter in Spanish, copy it and sign it with his signatures and have it witnessed and give him what you think is fair. If he signs it you are of the hook later on.
 

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First error you do not get familiar with the help and sit down with them for lunch, they are employees not buddies. You have to tell people the rules of the games and if you cut back you cut back not give them the same amount of money or terminate them . The little things raise expectations and end up badly. Being over generous may make you look like a sucker who has too much money and doing manual labor which garner or maid are hired to do put you on their level..not a good idea. Do you speak Spanish? Did the man go away happy or does he want more? If he went away happy hopefully you do not have a problem if not see a labor attorney.
I agree on every comment
 

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Thanks for the reply. Sorry I don't understand that calculator. As I interpret the words - since he was making 600 pesos every 14 days his daily pay was about 43 pesos per day. 20 days = 857 pesos. No ? We have a VERY intelligent Mexican friend who points out he was not an employee but a contractor offering services. He did not work every day, not even every week. We have several people who offer services - the fumigator comes once a month for a few hours, the electrician comes on an as needed basis etc.
You will have to be extra careful on that subject, hiring help.
That gardener may sue you and say he was in fact your employee, you dont have a contract to prove that he was a contractor, he may present fake witnesses, or even the neighbors, saying that he actually was working with you.
Mexican law is just like that, and they could end up making you pay for his holidays, christmas bonus, ask why he did not have social security service....
It's hell with employees in Mexico, and Morelos is worse than other places. Usually the employee wins this discussions
 

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He was NOT an employee. In fact he often boasted how many CLIENTS he had.
The laws in Mexico are different. You owe termination to anyone who works for you. The distinction between contractors and employees is something of a north-of-the-border distinction that doesn't work the same way in here. The separation payment is based on how many years the employee/contractor has worked for you. Since you inherited him from the previous owners, it is possible that you also inherited their employment history with him.

A final comment: paying someone $2500 pesos for four days of work sounds pretty generous to me. It is almost double what I pay a highly skilled plumber/painter/albanile.
 

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I'm curious where you live. In San Cristobal de las Casas where we live salaries are lower than other parts of Mexico. We pay our gardener much less than you do (about 1/3 as much for 6 hour day), and that is considered fairly generous here. We give our guy two days vacation that he can use as he chooses, and since he's a contract employee, no holidays, but he can switch days as he chooses with prior notice. There should be no obligation to pay his liquidation since he isn't a regular employee. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself in court. We've been sued over land issues, always stood up for ourselves, and won in court. It helps that my partner is Mexican and his family is from here. But don't let yourself be pushed around.
 

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I really would not advice anyone to push their luck on employment matters, not a Mexican and mostly not to a foreigner
Most employees in Mexico do not have a contract, and they work on such and such agreements, they still have ALL rights, and when they find that out, you released an angry kraken

If you choose to try your luck, please let us know how it went
 

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I really would not advice anyone to push their luck on employment matters, not a Mexican and mostly not to a foreigner
Most employees in Mexico do not have a contract, and they work on such and such agreements, they still have ALL rights, and when they find that out, you released an angry kraken

If you choose to try your luck, please let us know how it went
Good advice, Gary.

What is a kraken? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for your opinions / comments.

I thought about this a lot over the night. First and foremost - when my wife paid him for the day (and had him sign a receipt) she said 'ok here is a calendar. can you come again this week (which was three weeks away)'. It was THEN that he said - I don't want to do this anymore - I want a liquidation. I don't like this work anymore.

He was a gardener who didn't like to pull weeds. Well the weeds needed to get pulled - it was either him or I. I chose to mow the lawn etc myself to free up his time to do the maintenance needed on the beds. It came out in yesterday's conversation that the previous owner allowed him (the gardener) to bring on extra help to get the job done. He was a gardener who never did anything we did not ask him to do. He felt his work was done when he finished what we asked him to do.

As I said earlier - I can appreciate Mexico protecting the little guy - but where does it end ? I've been going to the same (excellent) mechanic for the past two years - in fact he had the car this week. Is he my employee ? We have no contract. The same is true of the fumigator who comes once a month. We go to the same dentist a few times a year...

Anyway - when the gardener left yesterday he shook both our hands and we wished him well. But I think I'm going to seek out whatever document is required to clearly lay out the non-employee relationship of a contractor.
 

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…As I said earlier - I can appreciate Mexico protecting the little guy - but where does it end ? I've been going to the same (excellent) mechanic for the past two years - in fact he had the car this week. Is he my employee ? We have no contract. The same is true of the fumigator who comes once a month. We go to the same dentist a few times a year…
In my opinion, and it is nothing more than that, the distinction is in the regularity.

The woman who cleans my house once a week, gets an aguinaldo (annual bonus) and would be entitled to compensation if I stopped using her since she as been coming once a week for many years.

The woman who cuts my hair every other month or so should get an aguinaldo (I am trying to get better at remembering to do that) but would not get anything if I decided to go to someone else. Of course she is a personal friend and I would have some explaining to do if I switched so it is not likely. (Also, I am baby sitting her bird at the moment, for which she will try to give me a few free haircuts).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Background : when we closed on the house in December 2013 there was a newly introduced 'tax' we needed to pay (and it was steep, perhaps 250,000 pesos). The notary's lawyer said - here's the contact info for a lawyer who can get a large part of that back for you. Turns out the tax was imposed without ever having the proper number of signatures to make it official. Cut to the chase - in the end we filed a 'lawsuit' and got back perhaps 100,000 pesos of which we paid her 30,000. Smart girl.

My wife spoke with her and told her the story. She suggested that we let her contact the gardener and offer him an additional 600 pesos in exchange for signing a 'release'. She would then take the release to a judge and make it official. That part would be an additional 1,000 pesos. Worse case she felt that he might be entitled to another 2,400 over and above the 1,200 pesos we already paid him.

Going forward we are going to have a form prepared to prevent this situation from happening in the future.
 
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