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The value of job descriptions—Even following termination

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in Human Resources

Q. How serious is it if an employer doesn’t have written job descriptions in place? Is it safe to draft them even after a termination that could result in a lawsuit?

A. There is no legal requirement that employers must have job descriptions, but they are a good idea for several reasons.

First, they define the essential functions of the job, which is important in determining whether a disabled person is qualified to perform a job. They also provide a benchmark for evaluating performance, in case an employee is not performing satisfactorily in a particular job function.

You should seek specific legal counsel to determine whether you should draft a job description after a particular termination. There may be a benefit in drafting one now, although the employee could certainly argue that the description, as drafted, does not accurately reflect what his or her duties were during employment.

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