7. Job descriptions should be accurate and legally compliant to provide legal defense against discrimination.
State and federal laws prohibit employment discrimination. Some laws that all employers should consider when writing job descriptions include:
• Fair Labor Standards Act – Job descriptions should indicate whether the position is non-exempt or exempt; in other words, subject to overtime or not subject to overtime, respectively.
• Americans with Disabilities Act – Job descriptions should only include physical restrictions that are essential functions of that position. For example, one cannot ask a secretary to lift more than 50 pounds just because there may be a file box that is more than 50 pounds. Lifting heavy items is not an essential function for the secretary, and should instead be part of the custodian’s position.
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Job descriptions should not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability (including pregnancy), genetic information and citizenship status. For example, a job description should not indicate that only a male or female can fill the position.
• Age Discrimination in Employment Act – Job descriptions should not indicate an age limitation on the position. Anyone who can meet the essential functions of the job should be eligible for the position.