Accurate position descriptions are crucial to proper classification (and pay) of employees work. They allow one job to be evaluated and compared to others in order to ensure equity across classifications.
Position descriptions are used as an aid to identify necessary skills and qualifications when recruiting, hiring, promoting, transferring and counseling employees.
Position descriptions identify education, skills and experience required to perform a job satisfactorily. The position description also includes any special licensing, certifications, or other necessary requirements.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in employment against qualified individuals with a disability. It requires employers base employment decisions on the ability of the person to perform the job, not on the person's disability or limitations.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines the minimum wage, overtime status and work categories and provides child labor protection. When position descriptions are used to determine the exempt (overtime) status of jobs, they must accurately describe the work being performed.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) established safety and health standards to protect employees in the work place. Accurate detail is important if the conditions are hazardous or unusual (e.g. noise, high voltage, chemical, etc.).
A complete and accurate position description can assist a supervisor in establishing performance objectives and conducting employee performance reviews. Job-related counseling is more effective if objectives are clearly defined. This allows for objective, constructive discussions that might not be possible without clearly defined performance objectives.