Administrative Judge (AJ)
An independent hearing examiner who presides at an administrative hearing. An Administrative Judge (AJ) has the power to administer oaths, receive evidence, take testimony and make initial findings of fact or law. An AJ's findings are subject to review and modification by agency heads.
Federal agencies such as the Merit Systems Protection Board ( www.practicallaw.com/9-576-1467) (MSPB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( www.practicallaw.com/4-501-5853) (EEOC) employ AJs to preside over formal hearings and adjudicate employment claims related to:
Employee appeals of personnel actions under the:
Discrimination, harassment and retaliation under:
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ( www.practicallaw.com/1-507-0228) (Rehab Act);
For more information, see Practice Notes, Civil Service Protections for Federal Employees: Overview ( www.practicallaw.com/1-576-7425) and Discrimination in Federal Public Employment: Federal Sector EEO Program ( www.practicallaw.com/8-580-5645) .
Federal agencies also employ Administrative Law Judges ( www.practicallaw.com/8-595-4145) (ALJ) who are appointed under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 556-557 and 5 C.F.R. § 930.201-.211. ALJs perform many of the same functions as AJs, but the APA provides ALJs with more statutory protections than AJs are entitled to.
The MSPB's Office of the Administrative Law Judge presides over selected cases brought by the Office of Special Counsel ( www.practicallaw.com/9-576-2645) (OSC) and appeals of personnel actions taken against other ALJs and MSPB employees (see Practice Note, The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB): Administrative Law Judges ( www.practicallaw.com/8-598-1846) ).