Job Analysis and The Law

Job Analysis: The Process that Defines Job Relatedness

In the chapter on discrimination, we emphasized the importance of the concept of job relatedness. Jobs contain many elements, some of which are essential to doing the job, and others that are ideal or preferable, but not essential. A job analysis will distinguish between essential and non-essential duties. The essential requirements must be determined objectively and employers should be able to show why a certain task is either essential or non-essential to a job. Finding out the essential characteristics of a job is fundamental in determining whether some employment decisions are discriminatory or not.¬† For example, a hiring requirement that states ‘frequent travel’ will disproportionately impact women with major caregiving responsibilities. When travel is included in a job description, it must be an essential duty otherwise its disparate impact on women will make it illegal. Moreover, even if travel is found to be an essential job duty, the employer would be expected to accommodate the family-status needs of employees. The purpose of a job analysis is to objectively establish the ‘job relatedness’ of employment procedures such as training, selection, compensation, and performance appraisal.

In order to comply with the law, an employer may consider the following questions:

  1. Is the job analysis current or does it need to be updated?
  2. Does the job analysis accurately reflect the needs and expectations of the employer?
  3. Which are essential requirements and which are non-essential?


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Human Resources Management - 2nd Ontario Edition Copyright © 2022 by Elizabeth Cameron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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