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Our Latin America Employment and Compensation Team is pleased to provide you with this quick guide for employers, dealing with some of the most pressing issues employers are currently faced with in light of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Use this guide to stay informed and take action in your workplace, but note that as this situation evolves, so too will the guidance and laws affecting employers in each jurisdiction. The information in this document is presented as of March 12, 2020; the high level guidance in this document is not intended to be comprehensive legal advice.

  1. Can we require employees to work from home?
  2. What if an employee can’t practically carry out their work from home – can they be required to take paid leave? Do we have to pay their salary anyway?
  3. Are employees who self-isolate entitled to be paid as usual?
  4. Can employees refuse to come to work?
  5. Health checks / medical testing: can we require our employees to have their temperatures checked or run other health checks?
  6. What are my obligations around maintaining a safe working environment?
  7. Can an employee refuse to travel?
  8. Should employers cancel events that require travel?
  9. Business shutdowns due to the virus outbreak – what options are available to employers?

To view responses to the above questionnaire, please click on the country of interest:

ARGENTINA

BRAZIL

CHILE

COLOMBIA

MEXICO

PERU

VENEZUELA

Author

Carlos Dodds has extensive experience in the area of employment law. He is managing partner of Baker McKenzie’s Buenos Aires office, champion of Diversity & Inclusion in Latin America, and vice president of the Private Bar Association of the City of Buenos Aires. He joined the Firm in 1990 and became a partner in 1999. Carlos served as chair of various practice groups in the Firm including the the Latin American Labor & Employment Practice Group from 2004 to 2008, Global Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits Practice Group from 2010 to 2014, and the Labor & Employment Practice Group of the Buenos Aires Office since 1994. He also served as chair of the Firm’s Client Credit Appeal Committee from 2008 to 2014.

Author

Maria del Rosario Lombera is member of Baker McKenzie’s Employment Practice Group in Mexico City. She was a member of the Mexican Commission of Employers before the International Labour Organization at annual conferences in the Commissions of Social Security and Globalization and Employment, and has participated in several meetings of seasoned practitioners in the field of social security. Maria joined Baker McKenzie Abogados in 1985, and became a partner in 2005. She spoke in several seminars including the Technical Workshop on Unemployment Insurance Systems in America held in Florida and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Author

Monica Pizarro is a partner in Estudio Echecopar. She has extensive experience in labor law, social security, litigation, immigration and mobility. She also regularly assists clients designing complex compensation structures, including tax and labor planning, as well as counseling in modifications on employment relationships due to M&A. She has been a consultant for the International Labor Organization and the Judicial Academy and teaches several Labor Law courses at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and other universities since 2006.

Author

Andres Valdes heads the Labor & Employment Practice Group of the Santiago office. He has more than 18 years of experience in advising Chilean and foreign companies in the areas of employment contracts, litigation, immigration, social security and pension funds, international executive transfers, workforce reductions, CBAs and union negotiations. He also has experience in corporate law matters, leading the acquisition of local businesses by foreign investors. He has provided pro bono advise to education foundations in Santiago.

Author

Carlos A. Felce sits on the Steering Committee of Baker McKenzie's Latin America Employment and Labor Practice Group, and is one of the coordinators of the Firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group in Venezuela. He is ranked among the leading labor and employment lawyers in Venezuela by Chambers Latin America. Mr. Felce is also a professor of labor law at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and Universidad Metropolitana.

Author

Tatiana Garces Carvajal is a lawyer and a specialist in labor law, graduated from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, with post-graduate studies in commercial law from Universidad de los Andes. She has over 30 years of experience advising major clients on matters related to individual and collective labor law. For three years, she worked as the director in charge of the HR Department, head of the Legal Division of the Betania Plant, and as a lawyer in the Legal Department of Alcalis de Colombia. Previously, she worked as head of the Personnel Department at AGA Ltda., and as a paralegal at a law firm. In addition to her experience as professor, lecturer, author of several publications and arbitrator in labor collective disputes, she served as technical adviser to the employers’ delegate for Colombia at the 98th Session of the International Labor Organization in Geneva (2015). She also participated at the 93rd Conference (2009). She joined the Baker McKenzie Bogota office in 1992 as an associate in the Labor Law Department, and was appointed partner in July 2000. She also serves as managing partner of the Baker McKenzie Bogota office and regional leader of the Employment and Compensation group in Latin America and the Employment and Compensation practice at the Bogota office. As representative for LA, she is a member of the steering committee of the Global Employment and Compensation Group of Baker McKenzie, and in her capacity as managing partner of the Bogota office, she is a member of Baker McKenzie’s Global Policy Committee.

Author

Javiera Medina Reza is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Mexico City office. Javiera has been practicing labor law for over 18 years. Prior to joining the Firm in January 2014, she worked as an associate in the labor and social security departments of two law firms in Mexico, and became a partner in 2012 in an international firm devoted to labor and employment matters. Javiera was an active participant in Ius Laboris, a global alliance of law firms, who provide specialized labor counsel to its clients, and the Lex Mundi Institute, Labor and Employment Practice Group. Javiera has been acknowledged by Chambers & Partners Latin America for her dedication and competence in labor and social security litigation, and recognized by Legal 500 Latin America as a legal advisor praised for her technical knowledge and studied opinions.

Author

Liliana Hernandez-Salgado is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Mexico City office. Named a Rising Star in The Legal 500 2019 review, she counsels clients on matters related to labor and employment law. Liliana has 12 years' experience in providing domestic and cross-border strategic consulting as well as advice on employment and compensation matters. She has vast knowledge in areas of employment law associated with corporate reorganizations and mergers and acquisitions.