Electronic Filing System (EFS) - EFILE.DOL.GOV
Last Updated April 12, 2021
The United States Department of Labor launched a new eFile/eServe System (“EFS”) on Monday, December 7, 2020. 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”).
E-filing Options Before OALJ and BALCA
Parties appearing before OALJ and BALCA are encouraged to e-file using EFS. Until further notice, however, OALJ and BALCA will continue to accept e-filings under the procedures stated at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oalj/FILING_BY_EMAIL. Parties may also opt to file by regular mail, courier service, hand delivery, or facsimile. See Administrative Notice, 2021-MIS-00001 (Chief ALJ Dec. 2, 2020).
EFS Modifications to Improve User Experience; Additional OCIO Webinars
In March 2021, the Office of the Chief Information Officer (“OCIO”) conducted listening sessions on EFS. OALJ and the Boards participated in those sessions. OCIO has begun implementing modifications in light of the feedback to improve users’ experience with EFS.
Reducing Number of E-Mail Notifications - Implemented on April 9, 2021
OALJ-issued documents, such as orders and decisions, are served directly by OALJ on e-filers. Beginning on Friday, April 9, 2021, the additional EFS e-mail notifications of such service were disabled. This modification will reduce the number of e-mails received by users, and will not require the users to navigate to EFS to receive the OALJ-issued documents. The OALJ-issued documents are PDF attachments to the e-mails, and the OALJ e-mails contain full identifying information about the case to which they pertain.
Faster Release of ALJ-Issued Documents - Expected Implementation April 16, 2021
Beginning Friday, April 16, 2021, OALJ will change the timing of its release of OALJ-issued documents. Rather than a batch release of documents after the end of the business day, OALJ will release OALJ-issued documents three hours after they are processed in OALJ’s document management system based on the local time of the ALJ’s duty station. Accordingly, OALJ-issued documents should generally be released no later than 8 p.m. Pacific time for documents issued by ALJs in our San Francisco District Office, and should generally be released earlier for documents issued by ALJs in our other offices.
End to EFS Requirement that Certificate of Service Be Uploaded as a Separate Document - Expected Implementation April 26, 2021
It is anticipated that on Monday, April 26, 2021, OCIO will modify EFS to permit e-filers to include the certificate of service in the main document rather requiring that it be uploaded as a separate document.
OCIO to Conduct Informational Webinars - Dates TBD
OCIO will be scheduling informational webinars focusing on specific topics about EFS, such as
- Managing login accounts in login.gov
- Searching for your cases in EFS
- How to request access for single and multiple cases
- How to delegate access to staff
- Clarification about which parties EFS serves
- How to file
- How to file multi-captioned cases
- Receiving served documents
- Understanding the different types of e-mail notifications
Check efile.dol.gov for more information on dates and times as it becomes available.
Appreciation for Feedback
We at OALJ appreciate the input received from EFS users, and have done what we can in response. We would like to thank OCIO, as the entity responsible for developing and implementing EFS, for working to implement other modifications and improvements to the system.
Status of Rulemaking
The ARB and ECAB rules requiring electronic filing for represented parties. went into effect on February 25, and e-filing with those agencies will become mandatory on April 12.
The comment period for the BRB and OALJ proposed rules requiring electronic filing for represented parties closed on April 1. The BRB and OALJ are in the process of reviewing the comments and determining how to proceed.
The Federal Register Notices pertaining to OALJ's regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 18 are found at:
- Direct Final Rule, 86 Fed, Reg. 1800
- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 86 Fed. Reg. 1868
- Direct final rule; withdrawal, 86 Fed. Reg. 11426
- Reopening of comment period, 86 Fed. Reg. 14558