Job Description Requirements by Law

By hrlineup | 02.01.2022

Even though job descriptions are not legally required, they are important if you want to comply with state and federal labor and employment laws. Besides, employers benefit greatly from writing job descriptions. One of the things that employers should bear in mind when writing job descriptions is that descriptions should contain the most essential functions of the job. The description helps potential applicants choose wisely the jobs they should apply for, depending on whether they are able to perform all the essential functions of that job, with or without accommodation.

Job descriptions also help establish guidelines for the performance of employees, which is a great tool when the time to appraise employees comes. A well-developed description is also the most important tool of communication that an employer can have. They can also help employees understand what will be expected of them right before they can send the application.

One of the most important job description requirements by law is that they need not be formal. After all, they are not legal documents and so, they can be formal or informal; whichever appeals best to the business. A small business does not have to go out of its way to write a formal description. Besides, small businesses do not put more emphasis on job descriptions because what they want most is to present their work environment as friendly and accommodating. However, for a business that wants to remain formal, they can always design their descriptions formally. This all depends on the organization culture and what works better for other employees. What should, however, not be overlooked is the fact that these description’s need regular updates, with the help of the employee who perform the job duties.

The other issue is the issue of job description disclaimer. Most job descriptions come with a disclaimer that requires employees to be ready to perform all other duties that will be assigned to them by the supervisor. Job description rules do not allow employers to ask an employee to perform duties that are far outside their area of expertise. If this happens and they do not perform well, employees should not be penalized for that. The law provides that those additions should not result in changes to the employee’s responsibilities.

Writing job requirements greatly benefits employers, not just employees. Even if they are not legally required to, employers can provide a detailed job description to every employee. A job description is a way to protect the interests of employers just in case issues arise in the future regarding employee performance. Human resource managers are better off providing candidates with a detailed job description before extending the job offer to them, so that employees will understand better what the job will entail before accepting the job offer.

Are job descriptions required by law? No, but they are very important not just for employees but employers. A clear communication about the job duties, tasks, qualifications and requirements is important before an employee takes the job for the benefit of both employee and employer.