U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 22, 2023
(a) Appointment. An agency may appoint an individual to an administrative law judge position only with prior approval of OPM, except when it makes its selection from the list of eligibles provided by OPM. An administrative law judge receives a career appointment and is exempt from the probationary period requirements under part 315 of this chapter. An administrative law judge appointment is subject to investigation, and an administrative law judge is subject to the suitability requirements in part 731 of this chapter.
(b) Licensure. At the time of application and any new appointment, the individual must possess a professional license to practice law and be authorized to practice law under the laws of a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territorial court established under the United States Constitution. Judicial status is acceptable in lieu of “active” status in States that prohibit sitting judges from maintaining “active” status to practice law. Being in “good standing” is also acceptable in lieu of “active” status in States where the licensing authority considers “good standing” as having a current license to practice law.
(c) Appointment of incumbents of newly classified administrative law judge positions. An agency may give an incumbent employee an administrative law judge career appointment if that employee is serving in the position when it is classified as an administrative law judge position on the basis of legislation, Executive order, or a decision of a court and if:
(1) The employee has competitive status or is serving in an excepted position under a permanent appointment;
(2) The employee is serving in an administrative law judge position on the day the legislation, Executive order, or decision of the court on which the classification of the position is based becomes effective;
(3) OPM receives a recommendation for the employee's appointment from the agency concerned; and
(4) OPM determines the employee meets the qualification requirements and has passed the current examination for an administrative law judge position.
(d) Appointment of an employee from a non-administrative law judge position. Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (c) of this section, an agency may not appoint an employee who is serving in a position other than an administrative law judge position to an administrative law judge position.
(e) Promotion. (1) Except as otherwise stated in this paragraph, 5 CFR part 335 applies in the promotion of administrative law judges.
(2) To reclassify an administrative law judge position at a higher level, the agency must submit a request to OPM. When OPM approves the higher level classification, OPM will direct the promotion of the administrative law judge occupying the position prior to the reclassification.
(f) Reassignment. Prior to OPM's approval, the agency must provide a bona fide management reason for the reassignment.
(g) Reinstatement. An agency may reinstate a former administrative law judge who served under 5 U.S.C. 3105,passed,and.
(h) Transfer. An agency may not transfer an individual from one administrative law judge position to another administrative law judge position within 1 year after the individual's last appointment, unless the gaining and losing agencies agree to the transfer.
(i) Conformity. Actions under this section must be consistent with § 930.201(f).