Written by our partner Toni Ahl at EEO Advantage
When I was a little girl, I always hated to hear the words, “Spring cleaning.” Those words meant that, rather than doing whatever I wanted to do, I had to help my Mom do lots of chores I did not enjoy. Rather than just vacuuming and dusting, we did things like clean the baseboards, paste wax the hardwood floors and wash the windows. What fun!
Are you wondering why I’m writing about Spring cleaning here? I guess the thought occurred to me that Spring is the season to clean up and make changes. Perhaps it is a good time to think about looking at your employee handbook and making changes based on developments that have occurred in the employment arena during the year. It is a good time to check your website to make sure that it is still up to date and compliant.
Reviewing job descriptions for accuracy is something that should be done at least yearly. Changes in technology can cause changes in the way tasks are performed. Job descriptions can be important to employers if a charge is filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act. An investigator will want to know the essential functions of the job. Making sure that the job descriptions are accurate can buttress an employer’s position when the issue of reasonable accommodation arises. Employers should, however, be cautious when listing the essential functions so that ancillary functions are not included as essential. Accurate job descriptions can assist medical providers in giving employers accurate information about whether an employee can return to work.
One way to find out the actual essential functions of positions is to go through them with employees performing the duties during their performance review. This allows input from the employees while validating their actual job duties. It is also a good time to stress the duties that are expected of the employees as well as giving feedback for ways to enhance performance. This is a time for employees to give ideas and possibly suggest ways that efficiency can be improved.
Job descriptions are used in Equal Pay charges too. EEOC is not concerned with the titles employers assign to jobs, but what the job duties are. The Equal Pay Act compares male and female pay for jobs that require the same skill, effort and responsibility. So, whether a hotel calls someone a housekeeper or porter is not important. What is important is what the employees actually do.
So, is it “Spring cleaning” time for you? If you need any assistance, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 553-7648.