<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=40587&amp;fmt=gif">
Job Descriptions

How Job Descriptions Can Help Your Current Compliance Management Strategy

By Brian Crook on February, 11 2019
Back to main Blog
Brian Crook

A good compliance management strategy is vital to your organization's longevity. It affects various internal departments & HR has a critical role to play in ensuring compliance.  

There are many approaches that a company can take (both proactive and reactive) to compliance and this post will focus on using job descriptions as part of a proactive approach to your compliance management strategy.  

By the end of this post, you will know: 

  • The top 3 reasons why your organization needs job descriptions as part of its compliance management strategy 
  • How job descriptions can help with your current compliance management strategy 
  • How to get the job descriptions you need   

Can I Afford Not to Have Compliance Management?  

The answer is usually no, as it will often cost you in more ways than one.  

This includes money, employee morale and worst of all, business reputation (often difficult to restore after a scandal). 

No matter your industry, having a plan for compliance management can help you avoid major issues in the future and insulate your organization against potential problems. This blog post will show you how job descriptions can help with your current compliance management plan.  


Why Your Organization Needs Job Descriptions For Its Compliance Management Strategy 


Safeguard against Employee Lawsuits 

You’re a great employer so you’d never get sued by your employees, right?  That depends. 

According to a 2016 survey by Norton Rose Fulbright, labor/employment was the 2nd highest type of litigation faced by the companies who participated in the survey.    

In the same survey, they found that the top 3 most concerning types of disputes were regarding contracts, labor/employment and regulatory/investigations. Respondents found contracts and labor to be the most concerning due to the prevalence and financial exposure. 

Solution: A signed job description provides the proof that you need to protect your company from employee lawsuits. How so?  

A signed job description can be used as evidence of the agreement between the employee and the employer and provides a reference as to the expected duties and responsibilities of the job.  

Our job description software can help you with creating & managing job descriptions used to define the essential tasks of the job.  

This can be useful in situations where you (the employer) must provide proof of a bona fide occupational qualification or requirement when deciding who they retain.  

By having this clearly outlined on an employee’s job description, you can reduce the burden of having to prove the employee was unaware of the stated requirements. 


Stronger Basis for Performance Reviews 

What is the basis for your performance reviews? 

An employer cannot give a poor review for an employee’s performance based on tasks that are not in the employee’s job description. Nowadays, blanket terms like “other duties as assigned” are simply not enough to cover everything due to reasonability. 

In some cases, terminating the employee for not performing non-work-related duties would be grounds for a lawsuit, in certain non work-at-will states.  

Solution:  A signed job description might be the key and here’s why:  

  • It is a record of the job duties that both employee & employer have read and agreed upon beforehand; thereby, helping to provide a solid foundation for future performance-related conversations.   
  • It serves as a guide for managers on what they need to assess and focuses the scope of performance conversations on what the employee was hired for.  
  • It can be part of your company’s current compliance management strategy. Because of the attached signature, a signed job description can be used as a reference point when starting performance-related conversations. 

Employees also benefit from having a signed job description, as it limits what the employer can critique the employee for.  


Increase Accountability 

Signed job descriptions engage both employees and managers in validating the job descriptions before they are signed off. This ensures all parties are accountable for the content of those job descriptions.  

With both parties (employees & managers) providing their input and confirm the job responsibilities, there will be a clearer understanding of job expectations and future performance evaluation criteria.   

Solution: A signed job description provides the basis for reasonability in a labor related dispute.  

The foundation of this would be based on a shared responsibility of the information contained in the job description.  

A collaboration provides a greater adherence to compliance in the organization and our job description software can help you easily achieve this with our job description validation feature. In addition, our software can also help you manage and enhance your current job descriptions. 


Job Descriptions & Your Current Compliance Management Strategy 

So, how can job descriptions help your organization be more job compliant? 

A job description helps to address one element of HR compliance by making sure that employees understand their job roles and tasks in a clearly articulated matter.  

It can also act as a supporting document to assist in one of HR’s main missions: to protect the company and employees from lawsuits.  

Signed job descriptions can feature prominently as part of your compliance management strategy, by providing records of agreement between the employee and the employer as to the expected tasks and duties that the job will carry out.  

Below are a few situations where signed job descriptions can help employers protect themselves:  

  • Safeguard against lawsuits either around the Fair Labor Standards Act (Overtime payments for exempt employees) 
  • Proving undue hardship (difficulty for employer to accommodate for disabled worker) with the Americans with Disability Act.  
  • Defining requirements for doctors notes under the Family and Leave Act 
  • Navigating Federal and State discrimination laws (too many to count) 


Next Steps

Want to improve your job description process? 

Fill out the form below to access our Job Description Toolkit today!




Post last updated: March 24, 2020.