When is the Last Time You Looked at Your Job Descriptions?

Posted on March 4, 2015 by Rick Rossignol

The Importance of Job Descriptions

Most of the time, when I conduct audit of the HR function, I find that they have a job description.  It typically outlines the necessary skills, training and education needed by a potential employee. It will spell out duties and responsibilities of the job. It can be used for interviewing candidates, orienting a new employee and finally in the evaluation of job performance.

What I find is the job description does not have the essential functions of the job. Defining the essential functions of the job protects the company. Essential job functions are the fundamental duties of a position: the things a person holding the job absolutely must be able to do. Essential job functions are used to determine the rights of an employee with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employee who can’t perform the essential job functions, even with a reasonable accommodation, isn’t considered qualified for the job and isn’t protected from discrimination. Job Descriptions without the essential functions of the job put the company at risk for discrimination, and ADA violations.

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