20 CFR § 658.424 - Proceedings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges.

§ 658.424 Proceedings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges.

(a) If a party requests a hearing pursuant to § 658.421 or § 658.707, the Regional Administrator must:

(1) Send the party requesting the hearing, and all other parties to the prior State level hearing, a written notice (hard copy or electronic) that the matter will be referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges for a hearing;

(2) Compile four hearing files (hard copy or electronic) containing copies of all documents relevant to the case, indexed and compiled chronologically; and

(3) Send simultaneously one hearing file to the Department of Labor Chief Administrative Law Judge, 800 K Street NW., Suite 400N, Washington, DC 20001-8002, one hearing file to the OWI Administrator, and one hearing file to the Solicitor of Labor, Attn: Associate Solicitor for Employment and Training Legal Services, and retain one hearing file.

(b) Proceedings under this section are governed by the rules of practice and procedure at subpart A of 29 CFR part 18, Rule of Practice and Procedure for Administrative Hearings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges, except where otherwise specified in this section or at § 658.425.

(c) Upon receipt of a hearing file, the ALJ designated to the case must notify the party requesting the hearing, all parties to the prior State hearing official hearing (if any), the State agency, the Regional Administrator, the OWI Administrator, and the Solicitor of Labor of the receipt of the case. After conferring all the parties, the ALJ may decide to make a determination on the record in lieu of scheduling a hearing.

(d) The ALJ may decide to consolidate cases and conduct hearings on more than one complaint concurrently if they determine that the issues are related or that the complaints will be processed more expeditiously.

(e) If the parties to the hearing are located in more than one State or are located in the same State but access to the hearing location is extremely inconvenient for one or more parties as determined by the ALJ, the ALJ must:

(1) Whenever possible, hold a single hearing, at a location convenient to all parties or their representatives wishing to appear and present evidence, with all such parties and/or their representatives present.

(2) If a hearing location cannot be established by the ALJ at a location pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the ALJ may conduct, with the consent of the parties, the hearing by a telephone conference call. If the hearing is conducted via telephone conference call the parties and their representatives must have the option to participate in person or via telephone.

(3) Where the ALJ is unable, for any reason, to conduct a telephonic hearing under paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the ALJ must confer with the parties on how to proceed.

(f) Upon deciding to hold a hearing, the ALJ must notify all involved parties of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(g) The parties to the hearing must be afforded the opportunity to present, examine, and cross-examine witnesses. The ALJ may elicit testimony from witnesses, but may not act as advocate for any party. The ALJ has the authority to issue subpoenas.

(h) The ALJ must receive, and make part of the record, documentary evidence offered by any party and accepted at the hearing, provided that copies of such evidence is provided to the other parties to the proceeding prior to the hearing at the time required by the ALJ.

(i) Technical rules of evidence do not apply to hearings conducted pursuant to this part, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to test by cross-examination must be applied where reasonably necessary by the ALJ conducting the hearing. The ALJ may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence.

(j) The case record, or any portion thereof, must be available for inspection and copying by any party to the hearing at, prior to, or subsequent to the hearing upon request. Special procedures may be used for disclosure of medical and psychological records such as disclosure to a physician designated by the individual concerned.

(k) The ALJ must, if feasible, encourage resolution of the dispute by conciliation at any time prior to the conclusion of the hearing.

[81 FR 56352, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 88 82733, Nov. 24, 2023]