Do left parties pursue significantly different policies that other parties? More specifically, the question that arises is whether in the face of momentous transformations of both the political economies and the dynamic of political competitions in the region, ideological orientation and linkages to civil-society still play a significant role in driving partisan approaches to policy making and implementation. I tackle this question by analyzing the area of labor market regulation in Latin America since the mid-1980s. The objectives of this paper are threefold. First, I will show that there is a distinctive approach of left parties towards regulatory policy in the area of labor law. However, although still oriented towards protecting workers from labor market risks, the impact of the regulatory changes has been relatively small if we consider the period between 1985 and 2009. Second, my analysis of the different areas comprising individual labor law will show in which areas and to what extent left-leaning parties have distinguished themselves. This analysis builds on previous literature on the subject, and expands it by an original analysis of cross-sectional time series data that covers the period 1985-2009. Finally, I present an exploratory analysis of cross-national variation in the patterns of labor regulation, integrating the findings from the examination of changes in individual level labor law with the changes in collective labor regulation.