Chief ALJ Administrative Orders and Notices


The United States Department of Labor is launching a new eFile/eServe System (“EFS”) on Monday, December 7, 2020.  The website address for EFS is

EFS is the Department’s next generation, shared system for electronic filing in proceedings before the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”), Benefits Review Board (“BRB”), Employee Compensation Appeals Board (“ECAB”), Office of Administrative Law Judges (“OALJ”), and Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”).

The Chief Administrative Law Judge has issued an Administrative Notice addressing use of EFS in OALJ and BALCA proceedings. Beginning on December 7, 2020, parties appearing before OALJ and BALCA are encouraged to e-file using this new system. Until further notice, however, OALJ and BALCA will continue to accept e-filings under the procedures stated at FILING_BY_EMAIL. Parties may also still opt to file by regular mail, courier service, hand delivery, or facsimile.

See Notice Regarding New System for Electronic Filing for further information.

Subpoena Requests - Expansion of Pilot Streamlined Process to All Case Types Beginning September 1, 2020

Beginning April 29, 2020, the Office of Administrative Law Judges piloted a streamlined procedure for processing subpoena requests in Longshore and Defense Base Act cases entirely via email.  Effective September 1, 2020, this streamlined procedure will be the default process for requesting subpoenas for all case types.  See the Subpoenas page for instructions and updated forms.

Telephone and Video Hearings

On June 1, 2020, the Chief ALJ issued an Administrative Order and Notice, 2020-MIS-00008 (Chief ALJ June 1, 2020), directing that until further notice hearings will be conducted by telephone or video, unless the presiding ALJ approves a party’s request for a hearing where persons are in the same physical location. If a party believes it is necessary to continue a hearing due to case preparation challenges caused by the coronavirus, that party shall promptly file a motion explaining the circumstances supporting the continuance. See 29 C.F.R. § 18.41(b)(1).

Suspension of Procedural Deadlines Ended on June 1, 2020

The Chief ALJ's Administrative Order and Notice tolling and suspending procedural deadlines lapsed at the close of business on Monday, June 1, 2020. Beginning Tuesday, June 2, 2020, procedural deadlines will be applied based on applicable regulation or order of the presiding ALJ.

As specified in the Chief ALJ's April 10, 2020 Supplemental Administrative Order and Notice, deadlines for filings affected by the March 23, 2020, to June 1, 2020, tolling can be calculated by adding the number of days remaining as of March 23, 2020, to the period after June 1, 2020, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding ALJ.

Filing by Email and Conventional Means

Receipt of U.S. Postal Service mail and UPS deliveries is limited in OALJ’s offices in Cincinnati, OH, Covington, LA, Newport News, VA, and Pittsburgh, PA. Receipt of mail in OALJ’s Boston, MA, Cherry Hill, NJ, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC offices may be delayed. In order to ensure timely receipt of filings, parties are encouraged to e-file.

Electronic Service

Service by Email

The Chief ALJ issued an Administrative Notice, 2020-MIS-00007 (Chief ALJ Apr. 16, 2020), providing information on how OALJ will serve orders and decisions during the pandemic. In sum, where email addresses are available, OALJ will use electronic service on the parties, attorneys and/or non-attorney representatives.

Users who sign up for EFS will receive e-Service through that system.

Preventing Incoming Emails From Being Classified as Spam

Some email services may classify emails from OALJ’s eService system as spam. Thus, you should periodically review your junk email box to make sure you are not missing served documents.

You can generally prevent this from happening by adding to the contacts or address book for the email account.

You can also check your particular email service on additional methods for marking messages as legitimate.  For example:

Another reason you may not be receiving documents is that spam software residing on your email server is filtering them out. If this appears to be happening, please contact your email administrator and ask that they add to your email server’s White List.

Electronic Signatures

Summary of the regulations governing the use of electronic signatures on documents filed with OALJ.

Appeals to the ARB and BRB

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administrative Review Board (ARB) and the Benefits Review Board (BRB) are encouraging parties to use the Boards’ to file appeals and other documents electronically.  Beginning on Monday, December 7, 2020, the ARB and BRB parties should use for such filing.