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California Employment Lawyer > California Employment Law > California Job Description Drafting

California Job Description Drafting

Most employers may already have an Employee Handbook, which has been distributed to their employees. And, those employees may already know what is expected of them in their job.

So, why might an employer need job descriptions for their employees?

Under most state and federal laws, job descriptions are not legally required. However, having custom job descriptions in place can provide valuable legal protections to an employer as well as ensure that employees understand the responsibilities expected of them in their position.

What Goes Into a Job Description?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, an effective job description typically includes at least the following elements:

  • A description of the employee’s key duties and essential job functions;
  • The minimum level of training, knowledge, experience, and skills required for the position;
  • Any special conditions for the position, such as the ability to lift a certain amount of weight or the need to work while standing for several hours during the workday;
  • Hours for the position, including whether overtime may be required, and whether the employee is in an exempt or non-exempt position for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • A list of specific responsibilities for the position; and
  • Performance objectives for the position and, where relevant, potential disciplinary action for an employee who does not mean these goals.

How Job Descriptions Can Help You as the Employer

There are many legal benefits to an employer having job descriptions for their employees.

One area where it may prove crucial is compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act as Amended. The ADAAA requires employers to engage in an “interactive process” with employees or job applicants who have a qualified physical or mental disability that impairs at least one major life function. The goal of the interactive process is to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for the employee’s disability that does not unduly burden the employer’s business.

However, the ADA generally does not protect employees who are unable to perform the “essential functions” of a job. If the employer has a written job description in place, the descriptions can aid in demonstrating what exactly a given position’s “essential functions” may be.

Additionally, a job description can bolster employer’s protections for claims under state and federal wage and hour laws, notably the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA generally exempts managerial and supervisory employees, among other categories.  Having written job descriptions in place which demonstrate the extent to which an individual employee performs such functions can assist in ensuring an employer is properly classifying the as exempt or non-exempt.

If you need advice or assistance in how to properly prepare employee job descriptions, we can help. Contact Scott Wagner and Associates today to schedule a consultation and discuss packages available for drafting job descriptions.

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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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