The Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) is the administrative tribunal for the United States Department of Labor. OALJ conducts hearings nationwide. The Department of Labor has the third largest administrative law judge (ALJ) office in the Federal government. OALJ is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has judges and staff located in eight district offices. ALJs are appointed under the U.S. Const. art. II, § 2, cl. 2 and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 3105.


OALJ’s mission is to provide a neutral forum to resolve labor-related administrative disputes before the Department of Labor in a fair, transparent and accessible manner, and to promptly issue sound decisions correct in law and fact.

Department of Labor ALJs adjudicate complaints and claims in a wide variety of cases. Cases where individuals seek benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Defense Base Act constitute the largest part of the office’s workload. ALJs also hear and decide cases arising from over 80 other labor-related statutes, Executive Orders, and regulations, including such diverse subjects as: whistleblower complaints involving corporate fraud and violations of transportation, environmental and food safety statutes; alien labor certifications; actions involving the working conditions of migrant farm laborers; grants administration relating to preparation of workers and job seekers to attain needed skills and training; prohibition of workplace discrimination by government contractors; minimum wage disputes; child labor violations; mine safety variances; OSHA formal rulemaking proceedings; federal contract disputes; civil fraud in federal programs; certain recordkeeping required by ERISA; and standards of conduct in union elections.


  • Respect – We treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Expertise – Our decisions are based upon the competent application of the law to the facts of the case.
  • The Rule of Law – We administer equal justice under the law and do equal right to the poor and to the rich by consistent and even application of the law to all.
  • Integrity – We hold ourselves to the highest level of ethical standards.