The Status and Placement of Agency Adjudicators

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission engaged the Administrative Conference of the United States to conduct an independent study evaluating the status and organizational placement of Administrative Judges (AJs) within the Commission’s federal sector hearing program. The Conference's study evaluates two primary issues: (1) the status of the program’s adjudicators, including the authority of the Chair or Commission to appoint Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) instead of AJs or convert existing AJs to ALJs, as well as the potential consequences of the Commission using ALJs instead of AJs; and (2) certain issues related to the placement of AJs or ALJs within the Commission’s organizational structure. The Conference did not evaluate whether the Commission should decide to use one type of adjudicator instead of another. Rather, the purpose of this study was to objectively evaluate the legal, regulatory, budgetary, and organizational considerations that would be relevant in the event the Commission decided to have ALJs preside over federal sector equal employment opportunity hearings instead of AJs.