Defining Essential Functions through Job Analysis
J. Patrick Gray, Katherine A. Jackson, and Amelia J. Prewett
Human resource management (HRM) researchers and specialists soon will be confronted by several complicated issues with the newly passed Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Both the ADA and Civil Rights Act contain provisions that will have a major impact on the employment practices of organizations in the upcoming years. The ADA provides coverage for individuals having disabilities in a number of areas including employment. The new civil rights law provides jury trials for discrimination cases and punitive damages for plaintiffs. In addition, the burden of proof in employment discrimination cases has been returned to its pre-Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio ( 1989) status. These legislative additions and changes have great practice and research implications for the field of HRM in general, and HRM specialists in particular.
The discussion in this chapter addresses a debated topic regarding the ADA, the role of job analysis in complying with the law. Provisions of the ADA and its implications for job analysis will be reviewed first. Second, other legislative action affecting the practice of job analysis will be reviewed. Third, the major job analysis methodologies discussed in the literature will be reviewed with an eye toward the post-ADA environment. Finally, research and practice directions of importance to HRM specialists relating to job analysis will be considered.