Job Descriptions - Are They Required by Law

In all my research, I have not found any legal citation (specific law, regulation, administrative code, etc.) requiring employers to have job descriptions.  Has anyone else come across a specific legal requirement for job descriptions?

Thanks for your response BarbieW!  I agree that if the JD isn't well written it could cause more problems than just not having them.



  • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I don't think there is any particular law or regulation that requires employers to have job descriptions. However, the EEOC has indicated they will consider them in determining essential functions for purposes of the ADA. In addition, they can help establish objective criteria for hiring, performance reviews, and making a determination about whether a job is exempt under the FLSA. That is, of course, if they are accurate and kept up-to-date. In my view, if they aren't well-written, accurate, and up-to-date, you might be better off without them.
  • I'm with Barbie. There's no law that says that you need them, but they are a good thing to have, especially if you're ever faced with an ADA or FLSA claim. Not only that, but practically they're good to have - they can help you recruit and hire the best qualified applicant and give an applicant an accurate idea of what the job involves.

  • I agree that job descriptions are very important for FLSA and ADA purposes.  Yes, it may seem like a headache to maintain them, but it'll save you much bigger headaches in the long run.
  • I'm also with Barbie.  Although there is no law stating that you must have them, they would certainly come in handy anytime you are trying to explain the position.  It would be a good idea to go over the job descriptions at least once a year to make sure they are up-to-date and accurate.
  • I'm coming in kind of late to this discussion but, I didn't see that anyone mentioned the fact that if you DO choose to have JDs, they must include the physical requirements of the job.  In other words, make sure they are ADA compliant.
  • The other thing to keep in mind is that if you were to ever have a wage and hour claim, workers comp dispute etc, the state will often ask to see the Job Description in determining claims issues.  Without a Job Description you open yourself up for a lot of questions that could be answered early in the investigation with just one peice of paper. 
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