The NCSL Blog

09

By Brian Weberg

State legislatures should pay attention to a recent ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, that overtime can be an "essential function."

Tups truckhe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describes essential functions as “… basic job duties that an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation.”

In this case, the employer listed overtime as a requirement in its job description for delivery drivers.

The decision in Faidley v. United Parcel Service of America may have implications for state legislatures that often require their employees to work overtime hours, especially as workload increases near the end of a session. 

Perhaps more instructive for state legislatures is the “Professional Pointer” presented by the Society for Human Resource Management, advising employers that “This case serves as a reminder of the importance of current and accurate job descriptions. Employers should remain vigilant when drafting job descriptions to include all essential functions of a job that are relevant …”

Many legislative workplaces do not have “current and accurate” job descriptions for their employees. This case is yet another reminder of the many good reasons for having them.

Brian J. Weberg is the director of NCSL's Center for Legislative Strengthening.

Email Brian.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.