Each job in the organization should be thoroughly analyzed and described. Your job description should state clearly and simply:
• Who does the work (including the qualifications, education, and job skills required)
• What the work entails
• Where the work is performed
• When the work is done (hours, how often, or what times of year)
• Why the person does the work (why is the job essential to the company)
• How the job is accomplished
For the purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is appropriate and necessary to list the essential and nonessential functions of the job in case someone asks for a job accommodation for a covered disability.
Here are five job description summaries in the engineering series, for discussion purposes:
|Job Title ||Job Description |
|Junior Engineer ||Performs routine engineering tasks using standard procedures. Applies limited judgment under direct supervision. |
|Engineer B ||Designs and develops major engineering project systems and subsystems under general supervision. May give technical supervision to lower-level engineers and technicians. |
|Senior Engineer A ||Designs and develops portions of major engineering projects under general supervision. Provides technical support to other departments. May supervise technicians and lower level engineers. |
|Project Engineer ||Directs an engineering design team to complete assigned engineering projects in accordance with customer specifications and within schedule and budget limitations. |
|Director of Engineering ||Reports to chief operating officer. Directs the accomplishment of product engineering objectives. Provides technical guidance and ensures sound engineering procedures and effective use of facilities. |
Employers should note that a job title alone is insufficient to establish the exempt status of an employee. Instead, the status of an employee must be determined on the basis of whether the employee's salary and duties meet the requirements of the regulations. If your company has not updated its job descriptions in over a year, it is possible that the actual work performed by employees under your current job titles has changed. Therefore, you may want to confer with managers, supervisors, and the employees when updating job descriptions. Once you have job descriptions that you believe accurately reflect the jobs performed, have your legal advisor review them, and sign and date the review so that you can prove your job descriptions are up to date and determine when a new review is necessary.