'That's not my job!' How to shut down those slackers.

Some employees resent it when their employer directs them to perform work that appears to fall outside their usual job duties. But contrary to what those employees think, there is nothing illegal about assigning them tasks that aren't listed in their job descriptions. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals just said so. (See "'Other duties' may be essential under ADA" on page 3.)

To prevent managers from ever having to hear a chorus of "it's not my job," explain to employees early and often that the duties listed in their job descriptions are not exhaustive. Include wording in the job description itself.

The simplest way is to include a final bullet point in job descriptions that says: "Other duties as assigned." Or go a step further and state:

This job description in no way implies that the duties listed here are the only ones the employee can be required to perform. Employees are...

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