Pension & Benefits News DOL issues direct final/proposed regs on procedural rules for hearings before administrative law judges
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Friday, February 26, 2021

DOL issues direct final/proposed regs on procedural rules for hearings before administrative law judges

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Department of Labor (DOL) has released direct final regulations and proposed regulations that revise the Rules of Practice and Procedure for Administrative Hearings Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ rules of practice and procedure) to provide for electronic filing (e-filing) and electronic service (e-service) of papers. The revised regulations provide that e-filing will be required for persons represented by attorneys or non-attorney representatives unless good cause is shown justifying a different form of filing. Self-represented persons will have the option of e-filing or of filing by conventional means. Finally, the DOL is revising the OALJ rules of practice and procedure to require advance notice to the parties of the manner of a hearing or prehearing conference, whether in person in the same physical location, by telephone, by videoconference, or by other means.

The proposed regulations are published concurrently with the direct final regulations on the same subject. They are substantively identical to the direct final regulations, and their respective comment periods run concurrently.

The DOL requests comments on the regulations. The direct final regulations are effective on February 25, 2021 without further action unless the DOL receives significant adverse comment to this rule by midnight Eastern Standard Time on February 10, 2021. If the DOL receives significant adverse comment, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the final rule in the Federal Register. Submit and read comments received through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. To locate this direct final rule, identified by Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) 1290-AA36, search for docket number DOL-2020-0015 or key words such as “Office of Administrative Law Judges” or “Rules of Practice and Procedure for Administrative Hearings Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges.”

Source: 86 FR 1800.

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