1. Learn the General Requirements for E-filing with OALJ and BALCA
a. Consider Using EFS Instead of E-mail Filing
For e-filing at the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) or the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA), the Department's eFile/eServe System (EFS - efile.dol.gov) is the recommended method. See https://efile.dol.gov/ for information on how to create an account. EFS has significant advantages over filing by e-mail, such as a User Dashboard and e-service on other EFS users. It is important to note that if you file by e-mail rather than EFS, you must serve all parties. OALJ will not serve documents on your behalf.
In some instances, however, it may be necessary to use OALJ's e-email/e-filing system, such as where you have been granted permission to file a document under seal or for in camera review.
b. This page only contains guidance on setting up your e-mail session
This webpage provides information on how to set up your e-mail transmission if using OALJ's e-mail/e-filing system, and some essential factors to consider for e-mail filings.
However, before you e-file, either by e-mail or online through EFS, you should consult the OALJ page on e-filing at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oalj/EFS and the guidelines memorandum linked on that page. The memorandum contains very important information about differences between EFS and e-mail filing, file format, naming conventions, how to get permission to file a document under seal, your responsibility to redact certain private information before filing, your responsibility to serve copies of the filing on the other parties, and so forth.
Once you understand these e-filing requirements, you may commence your e-mail filing session.
The items below are a concise checklist of the most essential things to consider before starting your e-mail e-filing session.
a. File format
The default e-filing format is text-searchable portable document format (“PDF”). Exhibits may be scanned PDFs if necessary.
b. File size
Attachments to e-mailed filings cannot exceed 50 MB. Larger attachments will need to be uploaded as zip files or broken up. If you need to break up the attachments, indicate the sequence of the attachments in the file name (such as 1 of x). Some very large digital documents may have to sent by CD, DVD or flashdrive if the e-mail system does not permit the transmission.
c. Do not use an e-mail filing for more than one case
Limit each e-mail to an individual case or consolidated cases. Make filings in for separate cases in separate e-mail transmissions.
d. Do not send a hard copy
Do not also file a hard (paper) copy, unless specifically directed to do so by the presiding ALJ. The e-mail filing will be the official filing for the matter.
e. Personal identifying information - redaction requirement
Redact as required by 29 C.F.R. § 18.31 prior to submitting your e-filing.
f. Follow the Protocol for Filing Confidential Information
Follow OALJ’s e-filing protocol for confidential information.
g. Scrub metadata
Scrub metadata, editing markup and comments before filing a digital legal document, such as a motion or a brief.
h. Prevent e-mail from OALJ going to your junk e-mail
Set your e-mail system to accept incoming e-mail from OALJ e-mail e-filing system and/or EFS.
i. Have your certificate of service ready to upload
You will need to prepare a certificate of service and be ready to upload it when you e-file.
3. Determine Which E-mail Address to Use
Direct your e-mail to the office at which the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) is stationed. If an ALJ has not yet been assigned, send the e-mail to the general OALJ-Filings@dol.gov e-mail box, or to the appropriate District Office e-mail box if you know that the case has been referred there.
Washington, DC National and District Offices:
- OALJ-Filings@dol.gov (for National Office Docket; unassigned or new cases)
- OALJ-Headquarters-DC@dol.gov (for cases assigned to Judges Henley, Almanza, and Bland)
- OALJ-DC-District@dol.gov (for cases assigned to Judges Annos, Applewhite, Farley, Hobbs and Leslie)
District Offices outside Washington, DC:
Here are links to office rosters if you are not sure where the presiding ALJ is stationed at:
- National Office
- Boston, MA
- Cherry Hill, NJ
- Cincinnati, OH
- Covington, LA
- Newport News, VA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- San Francisco, CA
- Washington, DC
4. Filing under seal or for in camera review
If you have been granted permission by the presiding ALJ to file a document under seal or for in camera review, DO NOT USE THE E-MAIL BOXES ABOVE. Use of the e-mail boxes above may result in your confidential filing being placed on the public docket and/or the EFS dashboard. Rather, follow the instructions given to you by the presiding ALJ when your motion to file under seal or for in camera review is granted. If you are instructed to file by e-mail, the presiding ALJ will provide you with the e-mail address to use.
5. What to include in the subject line of the e-mail
The subject line of the e-mail transmission must contain, in this order:
- (a) The name of the presiding ALJ (use UNK if the case is not assigned or you do not know who the presiding ALJ is);
(b) The name of the parties (e.g., Jones v. Big Co.);
(c) The OALJ case number (use TBD if this is a request for an ALJ hearing or the filing of a complaint or order of reference);
(d) If the OALJ case number is unknown or has not been assigned yet, please include the case number from the agency below (e.g., OWCP, OSHA, Wage and Hour);
(e) A short description of the nature of the filing.
This is an example of what the Subject line should look like:
- Subject: Judge John Doe; Jones v. Big Co.; OALJ No. 2020-BLA-05555; Motion for Continuance
If you do not know the OALJ case number, you can look up cases by the name of parties on the OALJ Document Management System (DMS) Search Page. If you still cannot find the OALJ case number, you should provide the case number from the agency below (e.g., OWCP, OSHA, Wage and Hour).
6. E-mail addresses of representatives of other parties
If you know the e-mail addresses of the representatives of the other parties to the case, include them in the cc line of the e-mail.
7. Certificate of Service
Be sure to include a certificate of service with any filing with OALJ or BALCA. The certificate of service may be included within the main document being filed, or may be a separate document.
8. Confirming Receipt and Filing
OALJ will not send you confirmation when you file by e-mail. Rather, you may use the Case Status Lookup to view the public portion of the docket for the case. When your e-mail filing is processed, it will appear in the docket sheet. It may take a few days for the docket event to appear.
If you would like immediate e-filing receipt confirmations, and access to a Dashboard to view all filings in a case, you should register for e-filing through EFS at efile.dol.gov.