Why do we need job descriptions?
To 1) build effective teams who know their essential functions, and to 2) defend yourself against an employment related lawsuit, you need to be consistent, legal, and fair. For both of these, you need a clear, well-written job description.
A job description can help you determine if an applicant can perform the essential functions required of a particular position, with or without accommodation. During the interview, you are not allowed to ask if a person has a disability that would prevent them from performing certain job tasks. You may ask applicants if they can perform the “essential functions” of a position, such as the ability to meet attendance or to operate a particular machine. If an applicant notifies you that he or she is unable to perform an essential job function because of a disability, you must then consider if you can reasonably accommodate the disability.
A well written job description lays out the essential functions of the position. This helps you to determine if an applicant is a good fit. 85% of employment related lawsuits come from claims related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Well written job descriptions are helpful in defending against a claim of disability discrimination.
In these claims, you’ll need to establish if the disabled individual could perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation. Employers will have an effective defense if they can establish that the disabled person could not perform one or more of the position’s essential functions, even with reasonable accommodation. If you have a well-written job description before you advertised or interviewed applicants, this will be evidence of what the position’s essential functions actually are, and can help in your defense.
With our full coverage subscription, you get 3 free ADA compliant job descriptions per year. With our Premium subscription, you get 5 job descriptions per year. Additional job descriptions can be purchased for only $99 each. Your job description comes included with questions that you can ask during an interview to determine if a candidate can perform the essential functions of the position.