As the economy picks up steam and hiring activity increases, it's particularly
important for employers to take the time to update their organizations' job
descriptions, especially in light of new Fair Labor Standards Act regulations
governing who is eligible for overtime.
"I've never run into anyone who has admitted liking to write job descriptions,"
says Martin Simon, legal editor at HR.BLR.com and Compensation.BLR.com. "But these tools, sometimes
called position descriptions, are critical to effective and legal human resource
Employers typically use job descriptions to drive recruitment campaigns, set
expectations for new workers, establish salary grade levels for groups of jobs,
and align individual goals and activities with an organization's strategic objectives.
A good job description follows a simple but consistent format that describes
key roles played by that job, as well as "essential functions." A
job description must be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
ADA compliance is one standard when creating job descriptions, "but it's
in the area of compliance with the FLSA's new overtime regulations where job
descriptions have increased in importance," says Simon. "If written
correctly, the job description should clearly list the skills required. Using
the duties in that document, along with salary data and knowledge of the new
overtime regulations, it should be easy to substantiate to the Department of
Labor (DOL) that a job be considered exempt or nonexempt from overtime."
The DOL goes further on this point: "The exempt or nonexempt status of
any particular employee must be determined on the basis of whether the employee's
salary and duties meet the requirements of the regulations."
Subscribers to Compensation.BLR.com may obtain more information on job descriptions at
Non-subscribers may obtain a free copy of the article at: http://www.blr.com/82008400/jobs.cfm.