U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 03, 2023
(a) OPM assigns each administrative law judge position to one of the three levels of basic pay, AL-3, AL-2 or AL-1 of the administrative law judge pay system established under 5 U.S.C. 5372 in accordance with this section. Pay level AL-3 has six rates of basic pay, A, B, C, D, E, and F.
(1) The rate of basic pay for AL-3, rate A, may not be less than 65 percent of the rate of basic pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule. The rate of basic pay for AL-1 may not exceed the rate for level IV of the Executive Schedule.
(2) The President determines the appropriate adjustment for each level in the administrative law judge pay system, subject to paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Such adjustments take effect on the 1st day of the first pay period beginning on or after the first day of the month in which adjustments in the General Schedule rates of basic pay under 5 U.S.C. 5303 take effect.
(3) An agency must use the following procedures to convert an administrative law judge's annual rate of basic pay to an hourly, daily, weekly, or biweekly rate:
(i) To derive an hourly rate, divide the annual rate of pay by 2,087 and round to the nearest cent, counting one-half cent and over as the next higher cent.
(ii) To derive a daily rate, multiply the hourly rate by the number of daily hours of service required by the administrative law judge's basic daily tour of duty.
(iii) To derive a weekly or biweekly rate, multiply the hourly rate by 40 or 80, respectively.
(b) Pay level AL-3 is the basic pay level for administrative law judge positions filled through a competitive examination.
(c) Subject to OPM approval, agencies may establish administrative law judge positions in pay levels AL-2 and AL-1. Administrative law judge positions are placed at these levels when they involve significant administrative and managerial responsibilities.
(d) Administrative law judges must serve at least 1 year in each AL pay level, or in an equivalent or higher level in positions in the Federal service, before advancing to the next higher level and may advance only one level at a time.
(e) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, upon appointment to an administrative law judge position and placement in level AL-3, an administrative law judge is paid at the minimum rate A of AL-3. He or she is automatically advanced successively to rates B, C, and D of that level upon completion of 52 weeks of service in the next lower rate, and to rates E and F of that level upon completion of 104 weeks of service in the next lower rate. Time in a non-pay status is generally creditable service when computing the 52-or 104-week period as long as it does not exceed 2 weeks per year for each 52 weeks of service. However, absence due to uniformed service or compensable injury is fully creditable upon reemployment as provided in part 353 of this chapter.
(f) Upon appointment to a position at AL-3, an administrative law judge may be paid at the minimum rate A, unless the administrative law judge is eligible for the higher rate B, C, D, E, or F because of prior service or superior qualifications, as provided in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this section.
(1) An agency may offer an administrative law judge applicant with prior Federal service a higher than minimum rate up to the lowest rate of basic pay that equals or exceeds the applicant's highest previous Federal rate of basic pay, not to exceed the maximum rate F.
(2) With prior OPM approval, an agency may pay the rate of pay that is next above the applicant's existing pay or earnings up to the maximum rate F. The agency may offer a higher than minimum rate to:
(i) An administrative law judge applicant with superior qualifications (as defined in § 930.202) who is within reach for appointment from an administrative law judge certificate of eligibles; or
(ii) A former administrative law judge with superior qualifications who is eligible for reinstatement.
(g) With prior OPM approval, an agency, on a one-time basis, may advance an administrative law judge in an AL-3 position with added administrative and managerial duties and responsibilities one rate above the administrative law judge's current AL-3 pay rate, up to the maximum rate F.
(h) Upon appointment to an administrative law judge position placed at AL-2 or AL-1, an administrative law judge is paid at the established rate for the level.
(i) An employing agency may reduce the level or rate of basic pay of an administrative law judge under § 930.211.
(j) With prior OPM approval, an employing agency may reduce the level of basic pay of an administrative law judge if the administrative law judge submits to the employing agency a written request for a voluntary reduction due to personal reasons.