Employers are not legally required to create and maintain job descriptions for each and every job, but it's in their best interests to do so since job descriptions are one of the most effective tools to establish which job functions are essential.
It's important to know which duties are essential and which aren't for purposes of accommodating temporary work restrictions or employees with disabilities. Simply tagging a function as essential, however, isn't enough. You must be able to prove that job duties listed as essential truly are an indispensable part of the position.
Case in point: A 51-year-old employee was shocked to learn that, according to his job description, he needed to be able to lift 97 pounds occasionally and 73 pounds frequently. That's because, for the past 15 years, the most he had to lift was a 60- to 70-pound box once a week. He found out about these so-called essential functions when his ...(register to read more)