Job Description ‘Essential Functions’ vs Actual Job Duties

Over an eight-year period, a City of Mongomery employee was denied a promotion to the position of Revenue Examiner three times. The job description required applicants to be able to walk over rough terrain, which the Plaintiff could not do. While the City claimed this act was an essential function of the job, a federal court found evidence to the contrary. Two individuals in the same position had not conducted site visits at all in the past 11 months. If your job description includes essential functions take time to review the accuracy of the descriptions before hiring, and if your job description does not include essential functions, consider including them as they may provide some protection against discrimination claims down the road. Read more about this case.