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Why You Must Have Job Descriptions | Employment Law 

Sometimes when I ask if a company has written job descriptions, all I hear back is a loud groan. 

Many people consider job descriptions useless busy work, but a job description is your best tool for defeating certain claims, managing your employees and deciding when you need to scale your business up. 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (the federal overtime law) and the FLSA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), essentially require job descriptions. The FLSA exams workers from the overtime requirements if they are paid on the minimum salary and perform certain duties 

Specifying the primary job duties of a position allows a business to properly analyze the position for the overtime exemptions. 

Even if the position is entitled to overtime paid, setting forth the position essential duties assist in determining if a disability can be reasonably accommodated under the ADA or if this specific disability disqualifies an individual from that position. For all, how is lifting 50 pounds an essential job if you never documented the lifting as part of the job’s requirements. 

Job descriptions may also help manage employees’ expectations and allow the company to determine when another employee may be needed. 

Sometimes the employee/employer relationship becomes adverse because the employee feels like she is asked to perform tasks outside the scope of her employment. Having a job description lets the employee know what’s considered part of their job and minimizes these disputes. 

Finally, if the position’s listed duties continue to grow, then it’s a likely sign the position must be split into two jobs and it’s time to bring a new employee on board. 

While no one likes writing job descriptions, the benefits of having them outweigh the drudgery in completing them. 

Don’t overlook this inexpensive and critical landmine and use it as a tool for your business. 

I’m attorney Nancy Greene and I can help you avoid legal landmines. 

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