Obtained from the ALJ Discussion Forum:
Date: February 15, 2017
To: All HOCALJs [Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judges]
From: Patrick Nagle /s/
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge
Robert Jandrlich /s/
Office of Executive Operations and Human Resources
Subject: UPDATE: Telework Requests for IFPTE/AALJ [union that represent ALJs and staff attorneys] Employees – INFORMATION
This guidance applies to all Office of Disability Adjudication and Review bargaining-unit employees covered by the National Agreement between the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and the Association of Administrative Law Judges, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO & CLC (IFPTE).
In accordance with Article 15, Section 5A of the 2013 SSA/ODAR-AALJ/IFPTE National Agreement, all administrative law judges (ALJs) who wish to participate in the agency’s telework program should submit their requests and schedules to you by February 28, 2017. You should approve or deny the telework requests by March 14, 2017. ALJs who receive approval for their requests may begin to work their new telework schedules on the first full pay period in April, which begins April 2, 2017.
When reviewing your ALJs’ requests for telework for this next 6-month period, please keep in mind the guidance that we have previously provided regarding what constitutes a “reasonably attainable” number of hearings, and the considerations you should take into account to make that determination. That guidance is contained within the Telework Guidance for HOCALJs document and the Reasonably Attainable Guidance, both of which are in the HOCALJ Telework Guidance library. Judge Bice’s September 2016 guidance stated that an average of 45 to 50 scheduled hearings per month would constitute a “reasonably attainable” number of hearings for the October 2016 through March 2017 telework period. Even prior to the implementation of this telework expectation, ALJs were regularly conducting a minimum of 50 hearings per month and this is a reasonable expectation for all ALJs. Therefore, for this upcoming telework period, April 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017, we will maintain that an average of 50 scheduled hearings per month is a “reasonably attainable” number of hearings.
Please remember that our expectation for all ALJs, teleworking and non-teleworking, is that they issue 500 to 700 legally sufficient dispositions per year; their scheduling of hearings should therefore be commensurate with this goal. To that end, please review carefully the Reasonably Attainable Guidance as you consider an ALJ’s telework request, and please take into account those circumstances that apply to that ALJ. If no such circumstances apply, an average of 50 hearings a month will be considered to be a “reasonably attainable” number of hearings. An ALJ who does not meet this expectation may have his/her telework restricted.
Please continue monitoring cases in judge-controlled status that may be “seriously delinquent.” You will find further guidance on addressing delinquent cases in the Addressing Delinquent Cases folder in the HOCALJ Telework Guidance library.
SIGN 10 days or greater
EDIT 30 days or greater
ARPR/ARFL and ALPO/ALFL 30 days or greater
As a reminder, effective October 9, 2015, Judges must use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) software on their device for all Telework. If an ALJ does not comply with this requirement, he/she is no longer eligible for telework and must wait until the next request period to apply for telework.
Before removing an ALJ from telework, please have a collegial conversation and explain the importance of using technology/the laptop as part of telework. You may consult with your regional attorney or labor and employee relations specialist for the next steps and to ensure we are addressing these issues consistently.
If you have any questions, please contact _____________, in the Division of Quality Service, at (888) 238-_______ ext. _________