ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BOARD
BENEFITS REVIEW BOARD
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Three approaches can be used to find ALJ decisions.
(1) A researcher can use a full-text search to look for a word or phrase. At present researchers can use the OALJ Search Page for generalized searches of the OALJ web site. OALJ is working with the Office of Public Affairs on an enchanced implementation of the FAST search engine for OALJ's materials.
(2) A researcher can use OALJ's "Docket Search." Docket Search is the web front end of OALJ's Document Management System (DMS). DMS pushes ALJ decisions to the web site for public access one day after issuance, except that LHWCA decisions are posted five business days after issuance. Docket Search is a fast way to find decisions if you already know the case number, the name of a party, or the date of the decision. Docket Search, however, is only comprehensive back to the fall of 2000 when OALJ implementated its DMS.
(3) A researcher may wish to browse the OALJ electronic Law Library. The Law Library contains caselists of published decisions and reference works such as newsletters, case digests and Judges' Benchbooks. Such resources cannot substitute for a party's own research into the statutory, regulatory, and case law authorities, but it can help focus a research session. See Disclaimer. The caselists are valuable because they contain case history known to OALJ about individual adjudications and because they link to legacy documents not available from Docket Search.
The Administrative Review Board (ARB) is the Department's appellate body for most of the cases heard by OALJ other than Black Lung and Longshore cases.
OALJ hosts the decisions of the Administrative Review Board on its web site. They are available for full-text searching and browsing in the same manner as the ALJ decisions. In addition, they are available in caselists organized by month of issuance and by the name of the first non-DOL party.
Prior to the establishment of the ARB, the types of cases its reviews were heard directly by the Secretary of Labor, a Deputy or Assistant Secretary, or various now defunct Boards. Most of these decisions having precedential value are available on the OALJ web site through full-text searching or the OALJ Law Library caselists and other materials.
ARB decisions are not comprehensively available in OALJ's Docket Search, although this capacity is being developed.
The Benefits Review Board (BRB) hears appeals of ALJ decisions under the Black Lung Benefits Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. These decisions are housed on the Main DOL web site and are available on caselists linked from the e-Judication Web Portal.
BRB decisions can be assessed both by full-text searching [e-Judication FAST or BRB FAST] and by browse functions similar to those available in OALJ's law library. The BRB is developing with OPA a database search. Researchers may also find references to BRB decisions in the BRB Law Library or the OALJ law library Black Lung and Longshore collections.
The e-Judication FAST search engine will soon enable a researcher to conduct a full-text search of both BRB and ALJ materials simultaneously, but at present it is necessary to search the ALJ and BRB materials separately.
OALJ does not have jurisdiction over FECA matters. Thus, for the most part ECAB decisions are not relevant to matters before this office. If a researcher wishes to access ECAB decisions, they are available from the e-Judication Web Portal.