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Essential Job Functions

Essential Job Functions

Functions are groups of duties that constitute the distinct and major activities involved in the work performed. Drafters must assign an estimated percentage of time the employee will spend performing each function. Note that for Essential Functions, no specific function can be less than 5%.

Essential Functions are functions and duties that are critical to performing the job. “Essential functions” are those functions that the individual who holds the position must be able to perform independently or with the assistance of reasonable accommodation.

It is generally best to start with itemizing the functions that the job is expected to perform, answering the question of ‘what do I want this job to do?’ with concise, factual statements. These items then become the basis of the Essential Functions section. Analyze and determine estimated percentages of time spent on each essential function.

It is an essential function, if:

  • It is a critical function;
  • The duty takes up more than 5% of the employee's time;
  • Eliminating the duty fundamentally changes the job;
  • Operations will be disrupted if the duty is not performed;
  • Every incumbent in this job is required to perform the duty or responsibility; or
  • Prior incumbents in the job regularly performed the duty or responsibility.