Job Summaries and Job Essential Functions

The job summary consists of one or two sentences describing why the position was created and why it exists, period.

Essential functions are fundamental duties that an employee must be able to perform (to accomplish or achieve the job summary) to the prevailing standard with or without accommodation.

A job function may be ESSENTIAL if: it is the reason the position exists; it requires the possession of specific skills; all other employees similarly classified are required to perform it; a significant amount of time is spent performing it; OR the consequences of NOT performing the function are considerable.

Non-essential, preferred or marginal functions generally are not required and may be reassigned to others. Essential functions should not be broken down into lists of every task the position might entail. Task lists should be kept separately from the job description. Use an “action” word as the first word to describe each essential function. An “action” word describes a specific function and should also convey a degree of responsibility (e.g., “directs” vs. “under the direction of…”). Some sample action words include: accepts, acts, administers, approves, provides, trains, supervises, etc.)