Are employers required to have written job descriptions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Author: Linda Segall, Segall Enterprises

Employers are not required by law to have written job descriptions. Written job descriptions, however, are helpful to employers in recruitment, job evaluation and training. Employers should take care to comply with the ADA as they prepare these descriptions.

Under the ADA, written job descriptions should include all essential job functions. In addition, employers should distinguish essential functions from nonessential job functions if the job description lists nonessential functions. This distinction can be made by indicating the time spent on each function, surrounding nonessential functions with asterisks, listing nonessential functions last under a separate heading, or putting nonessential functions in a footnote or endnote to the job description.