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The following information is provided to assist parties filing and serving documents electronically before the Commission and Administrative Law Judges.

1. Overview

These instructions provide a summary of procedures to aid parties in serving and filing documents in electronic format. They are not intended as a substitute for the Commission’s Rules of Procedure. It is the responsibility of a party to insure that electronic filings comply with the Commission’s Rules of Procedure.

2. Rules Pertaining to Electronic Filing and Service

The Commission’s Rules of Procedure permit filing and service of pleadings and documents by electronic means. The pertinent rules are Rule 7(c), 29 C.F.R. § 2200.7(c) (Service and notice - How accomplished) and Rule 8(g), 29 C.F.R. § 2200.8(g) (Filing - Electronic filing). Parties intending to serve and file electronically should become familiar with these rules.

3. Consent by All Parties to Electronic Service and Filing Required

Documents may be served and filed by electronic transmission only when all parties consent and the certificate of service of the electronic transmission states such consent and the method of transmission. All parties must be electronically served.

The rules contemplate that at the commencement of the case, the parties will confer and agree to electronically file and serve. The rules do not allow one party to electronically file with the Commission and serve a party by another means. If a party does not agree to electronic service, the opposing party may not unilaterally file documents electronically.

There may be cases where the parties have not agreed to file and serve all documents electronically, but desire to electronically file and serve a single document, such as a settlement agreement. This is an accepted procedure.

4. Method of Service and Filing - Resources Needed

Service and filing are accomplished by sending an e-mail to the appropriate office and attaching the pleading or document in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) format.

The PDF document must be generated by converting to PDF from the original word processing file, so that the text of the digital document may be searched and copied. PDF images created by scanning paper documents, other than attachments to pleadings and documents for which no word processing file is available, do not comply with the requirements.

Scanners are recommended so that attachments to pleadings and documents that exist only in non-electronic format, such as original or photocopies of documents, may be scanned into PDF format and filed electronically.

A high speed internet connection is also recommended. Filers using a telephone line together with a modem may experience problems connected with the slower speed of these lines.

5. Submitting Electronic Filings

Electronic filings shall be submitted to the office where the case is pending by e-mail. E-mail addresses may be obtained by telephone from the appropriate office as shown below.

Cases Pending in Executive Secretary’s Office -- 202-606-5400

Cases Pending in Chief Administrative Law Judge’s Office -- 202-606-5405
Or Pending before an Administrative Law Judge in Washington Office

Cases Pending before an Administrative Law Judge in Atlanta Office -- 404-562-1640

Cases Pending Before an Administrative Law Judge in Denver Office -- 303-844-3409

6. E-mail Addresses for Electronic Filing Shall Not Be Used for Case Inquiries

The e-mail addresses assigned to each office are dedicated to the filing of pleadings and other papers required to be served on the parties. Do not use these e-mail addresses to attempt to communicate directly with a Commission Member, Administrative Law Judge, or Commission Staff. Any such communication received will be disregarded.

7. Do Not Experiment - Proficiency Required

In order to file electronically, you must be proficient in operating a personal computer, creating documents in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), attaching a PDF document to an e-mail message, and transmitting and receiving e-mail messages. If you are not proficient in these skills, do not attempt an actual filing. The Commission’s rules provide for other means of filing, such as First Class Mail, fax, overnight delivery service, and personal delivery.

The Commission does not have the staff or resources to assist a party and cannot answer technical questions pertaining to electronic filing.

8. Retransmission to Correct Errors Looked on With Disfavor

All parties shall proofread documents and pleadings for errors and corrections before transmitting them to the Commission. Retransmission of a document for minor amendments or to correct minor errors is looked on with disfavor. Any retransmission must state in its title that it is an amended document and if it has been amended more than once, it must state the amendment number in the title. For example, “Second Amended Complaint.” The amended document must also state the precise nature of the amendments.

9. Attachments and Exhibits

Each attachment or exhibit to a document or pleading shall have a separate first page providing the case name, docket number, document title that it is attached to, attachment number or letter, description of the document, and filing party.

For example, the first page of an attachment to a motion to dismiss shall appear as shown below:

Secretary of Labor v. ABC Co.
OSHRC Docket No. [Insert Docket Number Here]
ABC Co.’s Motion to Dismiss

If Pending Before a Judge, Enter Name of Judge
Attachment [or Exhibit] [Enter Attachment or Exhibit No. or Letter]
Description of Attachment
Filed Electronically on [Transmission Date]

10. Virus Checking

Documents and pleadings to be filed electronically shall be checked for viruses prior to being filed.

11. Page Limitations

If the total number of pages of a PDF document exceeds 200 pages, the parties shall not file it by e-mail. In these circumstances, parties must file by alternative means and should consider filing on a compact disk (CD).

12. File Naming Conventions

The PDF file shall be named as follows:

1. the docket number followed by one space;

2. the document title beginning with the filing party’s designation; and,

3. the file extension “.pdf”.

Some examples are:

99-9999 Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss.pdf
99-9999 Secretary’s Response to Motion to Dismiss.pdf
99-9999 Respondent’s Reply to Motion to Dismiss.pdf
99-9999 Respondent’s Attachment A to Reply to Motion to Dimiss.pdf

File names cannot contain the following characters: \ / : * ? " < > |. Please note that a period is included as a prohibited character except before the file extension “.pdf”.

13. Filing Date

Filing is effective upon the Commission’s receipt of the electronic transmission. The date and time are determined by the Commission’s computer system in Washington, D. C., which will be recorded in Eastern Standard or Daylight Time, as the case may be. Early filing is recommended. The Commission is not responsible for transmission delays due to service problems by internet providers or internet system problems. Documents filed at 11:59 p.m. (or at earlier times) may not arrive at the Commission’s computer systems until the next day.

14. Delivery Confirmation

The transmitting party has responsibility to retain records showing the date of transmission, including receipts. Accordingly, filers should request a delivery receipt when filing electronically with the Commission using the option for a delivery receipt, if available on their e-mail program. This receipt is automatically generated when the filing is delivered to the Commission e-mail server. A read receipt should not be used. A read receipt is generated when the e-mail is physically opened. Choose the option on the e-mail program that requests a delivery receipt which shows the date and time of actual delivery to the Commission’s e-mail server.

The Commission’s confirmation process uses the verbatim language of the e‑mail transmittal subject line to describe and confirm what is filed. Accordingly, the e‑mail transmittal subject line should contain the docket number, party filing the document, the document filed and the employer’s name. For example:

99-9999 Complainant’s motion for a continuance Smith Co.

15. Certificate of Service

If a document or pleading is served and filed electronically the certificate of service shall state that all parties consent to electronic service and filing.

An example of an electronic certificate of service is below:

Certificate of Service

I certify that all parties have consented that all papers required to be served may be served and filed electronically. I further certify that a copy of the [name of document ] was electronically served on [date] on the following parties:

[Mailing Address]
[E-mail Address]

16. Sensitive Information

Sensitive information that is not privileged shall be filed as follows:

(i) If Social Security numbers must be included, only the last four digits of a Social Security number shall be used;

(ii) If the names of minor children must be included, only the initials of minor children shall be used;

(iii) If dates of birth must be included, only the year shall be used;

(iv) If financial account numbers must be filed, only the last four digits of these numbers shall be used; and,

(v) If a personal identifying number, such as a driver’s license number must be filed, only the last four digits shall be used.

Parties shall exercise caution when filing medical records, medical treatment records, medical diagnosis records, employment history, and individual financial information, and shall redact or exclude certain materials unnecessary to a disposition of the case.

17. Privileged Information Shall Not Be Filed Electronically

Privileged information or information that is asserted by any party to be privileged shall not be filed electronically.

18. Electronic Transmittal Letters Shall Not be Filed

A transmittal letter shall not be filed electronically that notes:

(i) The transmittal of a document;

(ii) The inclusion of an attachment;

(iii) A request for a return receipt; or

(iv) A request for additional information concerning the filing.

19. Signatures

The signature line of any document shall include the notation “/s/” followed by the typewritten name or graphical duplicate of the handwritten signature of the party representative filing the document. This shall be deemed to be an original signature unless the party shows that such representation was unauthorized.

The Commission welcomes suggestions for the improvement of its electronic filing service and filing procedures. Suggestions may be submitted to:

The Office of the Executive Secretary
One Lafayette Centre
1120 20th Street, N.W., 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036-3457

Last Updated: August 1, 2005

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