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Job Functions: Classification & Compensation: University of Vermont

Essential & Marginal Job Functions

Essential Functions: Must be performed with or without reasonable accommodation. If appropriate, include information about resources and/or supervisory elements.

Tips for describing Essential Functions:

  • Be specific in describing job functions: What methods, techniques and equipment are used? What is the expected result or outcome? With whom is it done? Communicate the position's responsibility for financial resources, budgets, physical resources, and data/records/information. Describe Supervisory Elements.
  • Use Action Verbs to specify each function statement, such as "operate," "analyze," or "approve." Avoid vague words such as "may" or "preferred."
  • Determine the percentage of total effort each function requires. The total of all functions should equal 100%. In general, individual functions are best described with percentage breakdowns no higher than 20%-25%, and no lower than 5%.
  • Prioritize functions in order of most to least essential

Marginal Functions: To distinguish essential from marginal functions, ask yourself :

  • Does the position exist to perform the function?
  • Can other employees perform the function if the incumbent does not?
  • Is special training or education required to perform the function?
  • Would removing the function fundamentally change the job?
  • Would there be significant consequences if this function were not performed?

Last modified October 22 2014 01:02 PM