How to Find Decisions

The Office of Administrative Law Judges' website has extensive libraries of ALJ and BALCA decisions. This is a primer on how to find those decisions, as well as relevant DOL appellate decisions.

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA)

Full Text Search

Search by Keyword is a state-of-the-art full-text search application enhanced by faceted navigation that will be familiar to users of e-commerce sites. Faceted navigation permits filtering of results by select criteria depending on the data retrieved. Available filters include originating agency, program area, case type, document type, document format, and date range.

Search by Case Number

Search by Case Number enables users to search by OALJ case number all published case specific orders, notices, decisions and other documents issued by ALJs during adjudications. This search allows for precise filtering of results, including, for example, whether the document is a decision, order, notice, continuance.

DMS Search

DMS Search is a database search using fields from the Office of Administrative Law Judges' Document Management System (DMS).

DMS search enables searches based on the OALJ Case Number, the name of the Employer or Respondent, the name of the Claimant or Complainant, or the date of the ALJ's decision.

This is the quickest method if you are looking for a specific document in a specific case. DMS Search only covers ALJ decisions and is not a full-text search.

Case Status Lookup

Case Status Lookup is also a database search of the OALJ Document Management System. To use this system, you need to know the OALJ case number or the case number from the agency below. The advantage to this method is that it provides the public docket listings for the case and links to ALJ documents that are posted on the OALJ website. Links to the final ALJ disposition are provided for all cases from the fall of 2000 forward. Also available are all ALJ decisions and other orders issued on or after October 1, 2017 (unless FOIA exempt).

Browsing Reference Works

OALJ posts "reading room" materials on its website. For major program areas, OALJ posts materials such as newsletters on recent significant decisions, digests of case summaries, and Judge's Benchbooks. Such materials are especially robust for Black Lung, Longshore, and Whistleblower cases. From the OALJ Homepage, look for the subject matter Libraries.

Administrative Review Board (ARB)

OALJ hosts a comprehensive set of decisions of the Administrative Review Board. The ARB Decisions page explains the methods for finding ARB decisions.

OALJ's website also has a large number of the appellate decisions of the ARB's predecessors, including the Secretary of Labor's final agency decisions, the Wage Appeals Board, and the Board of Service Contract Appeals. These decisions are grouped together with the ARB decisions.

Benefits Review Board (BRB)

The best source for Benefits Review Board Decisions is the BRB website. You may browse the decisions by date issued, or use the DOL Appeals Full Text Search.

BRB decisions are also returned when using OALJ's Keyword full-text Search.

Other Sources

DOL adjudicatory decisions are also available from private publishers, notably LEXIS and Westlaw. The Benefits Review Board Service publishes reporters specializing in Black Lung and Longshore cases.