29 CFR 37.112 - What procedures for initial and final decisions does the Department follow?
(a) Initial decision. After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge must issue an initial decision and order, containing findings of fact and conclusions of law. The initial decision and order must be served on all parties by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(b) Exceptions; final decision.
(1) Final decision after a hearing. The initial decision and order becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary unless exceptions are filed by a party or, in the absence of exceptions, the Secretary serves notice that he or she will review the decision.
(i) A party dissatisfied with the initial decision and order may, within 45 days of receipt, file with the Secretary and serve on the other parties to the proceedings and on the Administrative Law Judge, exceptions to the initial decision and order or any part thereof.
(iii) A party filing exceptions must specifically identify the finding or conclusion to which exception is taken. Any exception not specifically urged is waived.
(iv) Within 45 days of the date of filing such exceptions, a reply, which must be limited to the scope of the exceptions, may be filed and served by any other party to the proceeding.
(v) Requests for extensions for the filing of exceptions or replies must be received by the Secretary no later than 3 days before the exceptions or replies are due.
(vi) If no exceptions are filed, the Secretary may, within 30 days of the expiration of the time for filing exceptions, on his or her own motion serve notice on the parties that the Secretary will review the decision.
(vii) Final decision and order.
(A) Where exceptions have been filed, the initial decision and order of the Administrative Law Judge becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary unless the Secretary, within 30 days of the expiration of the time for filing exceptions and replies, has notified the parties that the case is accepted for review.
(B) Where exceptions have not been filed, the initial decision and order of the Administrative Law Judge becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary unless the Secretary has served notice on the parties that he or she will review the decision, as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(vi) of this section.
(viii) Any case reviewed by the Secretary under this paragraph must be decided within 180 days of the notification of such review. If the Secretary fails to issue a Final Decision and Order within the 180-day period, the initial decision and order of the Administrative Law Judge becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary.
(2) Final Decision where a hearing is waived.
(i) If, after issuance of a Final Determination under § 37.100 or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement under § 37.104, voluntary compliance has not been achieved within the time set by this part and the opportunity for a hearing has been waived as provided for in § 37.111(b)(4), the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement becomes the Final Decision of the Secretary.
(ii) When a Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement becomes the Final Decision of the Secretary, the Secretary may, within 45 days, issue an order terminating or denying the grant or continuation of assistance or imposing other appropriate sanctions for the grant applicant or recipient's failure to comply with the required corrective and/or remedial actions, or referring the matter to the Attorney General for further enforcement action.
(3) Final agency action. A Final Decision and Order issued under § 37.112(b) constitutes final agency action.