DOT civil rights proceedings
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure:
-"Hearing Examiner/Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)" is referred to as Hearing Officer 1 because the governing regulations delegate primary hearing authority to a "hearing examiner" appointed per 5 U.S.C. 3105 or detailed to the agency per 5 U.S.C. 3344. See 49 CFR 21.15(b) (Title VI); see also 49 CFR 25.605 (incorporating in Title IX actions the procedures of 49 CFR Part 21). These statutes pertain to appointment or detailing of ALJs. The procedures for disability discrimination cases under 49 CFR Part 27 mirror those in Parts 21 and 25, but name ALJs directly as the hearing officers. See 49 CFR 27.127(c).
-The Director of the Departmental Office of Civil Rights is referred to as Hearing Officer 2 because the Director may act as hearing officer in the first instance. See 49 CFR 21.15(b) (providing for hearings before the Secretary at his discretion); see also 49 CFR 21.23 (defining "Secretary"). There is no such provision for disability discrimination cases under 49 CFR Part 27.
-The Secretary or his designee is the appellate officer across all of these cases. The procedures for Title VI and Title IX draw a distinction between the examiner making an initial decision versus certifying recommended findings to the Secretary, see 49 CFR 21.17(a)-(b), but in either case the funding recipient or applicant may file with the Secretary his exceptions to the decision and the reasons therefor. See id. The ALJ in disability discrimination cases always "certifies" recommended findings to the Secretary, but applicants or recipients may again submit their written arguments for or against the proposed decision of the ALJ, which the Secretary reviews. See 49 CFR 27.129.
Is this a Major Adjudication: