Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Feedback button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of February 24, 2021

Title 29Subtitle APart 16 → Subpart A


Title 29: Labor
PART 16—EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT


Subpart A—General Provisions


Contents
§16.101   Purpose of these rules.
§16.102   Definitions.
§16.103   When the Act applies.
§16.104   Proceedings covered.
§16.105   Eligibility of applicants.
§16.106   Standards for awards.
§16.107   Allowable fees and expenses.
§16.108   Awards against other agencies.

return arrow Back to Top

§16.101   Purpose of these rules.

Section 203(a)(1) of the Equal Access to Justice Act amends section 504 of the Administrative Procedure Act to provide for the award of attorney fees and other expenses to eligible individuals and entities who are parties to certain administrative proceedings before the Department of Labor. An eligible party may receive an award when it prevails over an agency, unless the agency's position in the proceeding was substantially justified or special circumstances make an award unjust. The rules in this part describe the parties eligible for awards, the proceedings that are covered, how to apply for awards, and the standards under which awards will be granted.

return arrow Back to Top

§16.102   Definitions.

As used in this part:

(a) The Act means section 504 of title 5 U.S.C., as amended by section 203(a)(1) of the Equal Access to Justice Act, Public Law No. 96-481.

(b) Adversary adjudication means an adjudication under 5 U.S.C. 554 or other proceeding required by statute to be determined on the record after an opportunity for an agency hearing, but excludes an adjudication for the purpose of establishing or fixing a rate or for the purpose of granting or renewing a license.

(c) Adjudicative officer means the official who presides at the adversary adjudication, without regard to whether the official is designated as an administrative law judge, a hearing officer or examiner, or otherwise.

(d) Department refers to the cognizant departmental component which is participating in the adversary adjudication, (e.g., Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, and Employment Standards Administration).

(e) Proceeding means an adversary adjudication as defined in paragraph (b) of this section.

return arrow Back to Top

§16.103   When the Act applies.

The Act applies to any adversary adjudication pending before the Department at any time between October 1, 1981 and September 30, 1984. This includes proceedings begun before October 1, 1981 if final agency action has not been taken before that date, and proceedings pending on September 30, 1984, regardless of when they were initiated or when final agency action occurs, except that it shall not apply in any case pending on October 1, 1981 in which a decision has been issued, but final agency action has not been taken by reason of an abatement.

return arrow Back to Top

§16.104   Proceedings covered.

(a) The Act applies in adversary adjudications in which the position of the Department or another agency of the United States is presented by an attorney or other representative who enters an appearance and participates in the proceeding in an adversarial capacity. Any proceeding which prescribes a lawful present or future rate or is primarily rule-making is not covered. Proceedings to grant or renew licenses are also excluded, but proceedings to modify, suspend or revoke licenses are covered if they are otherwise adversary adjudications. The following types of proceedings are deemed to be adversarial adjudications which will be covered by the Act, when all other conditions in the Act and in these rules are met:

(1) Hearings conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission under the authority of 29 U.S.C. 661 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and hearings conducted by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission under the authority of 30 U.S.C. 823 of the Mine Safety and Health Act. In these proceedings, the rules of the respective Commissions rather than the instant rules will be applicable.

(2) Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration:

(i) Civil money penalties under the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act at 29 U.S.C. 216(e) and 29 CFR part 579.

(ii) Violations and debarment in Federal contracts under the Walsh-Healey Act at 41 U.S.C. 39 and 41 CFR 50-203.1.

(iii) Revocation, modification and suspension of licenses under the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act at 7 U.S.C. 2045(b) and 29 CFR 40.101.

(iv) Civil money penalties under the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act at 7 U.S.C. 2048(b)(2) and 29 CFR 40.101.

(v) Revocation and suspension of certificates under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act at 29 U.S.C. 1813(b) and 29 CFR 500.200.

(vi) Civil money penalties under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act at 29 U.S.C. 1853(b) and 29 CFR 500.200.

(3) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Employment Standards Administration hearings prior to the denial, withholding, termination or suspension of a government contract or any portion of a contract under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, at 42 U.S.C. 2000e-17 and 41 CFR part 60-30.

(4) Civil Rights Center:

(i) Fund termination under title VI of the Civil Rights Act at 42 U.S.C. 2000d2 and 29 CFR part 31.

(ii) Fund termination under the Age Discrimination in Federally Assisted Programs Act of 1975 at 42 U.S.C. 6104(a).

(iii) Fund termination or refusal to grant because of discrimination under 20 U.S.C. 1682.

(5) Employment and Training Administration:

(i) Proceedings under the Workforce Investment Act at 29 U.S.C. 2936, where the Department determines that a recipient of WIA funds is failing to comply with the requirements of the Act and the implementing regulations.

(ii) Conformity and compliance under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act at 26 U.S.C. 3303(b) and 3304(c).

(iii) Proceedings under section 303(b) of the Social Security Act of 1935, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 503(b).

(6) Mine Safety and Health Administration:

(i) Petitions for modification of a mandatory safety standard under the Mine Safety and Health Act at 30 U.S.C. 811(c) and 30 CFR 44.20.

(7) Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

(i) Exemptions, tolerances and variances under the Occupational Safety and Health Act at 29 U.S.C. 655 and 29 CFR 1905.3.

(b) If a proceeding includes both matters covered by the Act and matters specifically excluded from coverage, any award made will include only fees and expenses related to the covered issues.

[46 FR 63021, Dec. 29, 1981, as amended at 48 FR 43322, Sept. 23, 1983; 72 FR 37098, July 9, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§16.105   Eligibility of applicants.

(a) To be eligible for an award of attorney fees and other expenses under the Act, the applicant must be a party, as that term is defined in 5 U.S.C. 551(3), to an adversary adjudication for which it seeks an award; the applicant must prevail; and must meet all the conditions of eligibility set out in this subpart and subpart B.

(b) To be eligible for an award, the applicant must be:

(1) An individual with a net worth of not more than $1 million;

(2) The sole owner of an unincorporated business which has a net worth of not more than $5 million, including both personal and business interests, and not more than 500 employees;

(3) A charitable or other tax exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) with not more than 500 employees;

(4) A cooperative association as defined in section 15(a) of the Agricultural Marketing Act (12 U.S.C. 1141j(a)) with not more than 500 employees;

(5) Any other partnership, corporation, association or public or private organization with a net worth of not more than $5 million and not more than 500 employees. A unit of state or local government is not a public organization within the meaning of this provision.

(c) For purposes of eligibility, the net worth and number of employees of an applicant shall be determined as of the date the proceeding was initiated.

(d) An applicant who owns an unincorporated business will be considered as an individual rather than a sole owner of an unincorporated business if the issues on which the applicant prevails are related primarily to personal interests rather than to business interests.

(e) The employees of an applicant include all persons who perform services for remuneration for the applicant, under the applicant's direction and control. Part-time employees shall be included.

(f) The net worth and number of employees of the applicant and all of its affiliates shall be aggregated to determine eligibility. Any individual, corporation or other entity that directly or indirectly controls or owns a majority of the voting shares of another business, or controls, in any manner, the election of a majority of that business' board of directors, trustees or other persons exercising similar functions, shall be considered an affiliate for purposes of this part, unless the adjudicative officer determines that such treatment would be unjust and contrary to the purposes of the Act in light of the actual relationship between the affiliated entities. In addition, the adjudicative officer may determine that financial relationships of the applicant other than those described in this paragraph constitute special circumstances that would make an award unjust.

(g) An applicant that participates in a proceeding primarily on behalf of one or more other persons or entities that would be ineligible is not itself eligible for an award.

[46 FR 63021, Dec. 29, 1981, as amended at 72 FR 37098, July 9, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§16.106   Standards for awards.

(a) A prevailing applicant may receive an award for fees and expenses incurred in connection with a proceeding, or in a significant and discrete substantive portion of the proceeding, unless the position of the Department as a party over which the applicant has prevailed was substantially justified or if special circumstances make the award sought unjust. No presumption arises that the Department's position was not substantially justified simply because the Department did not prevail.

(b) An award will be reduced or denied if the applicant has unduly or unreasonably protracted the proceeding.

return arrow Back to Top

§16.107   Allowable fees and expenses.

(a) The following fees and other expenses are allowable under the Act:

(1) Reasonable expenses of expert witnesses;

(2) Reasonable cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test, or project necessary for the preparation of the party's case;

(3) Reasonable attorney or agent fees;

(b) Awards will be based on the prevailing market rates for the kind and quality of services furnished not to exceed the rates set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) No award under these rules for the fee of an attorney or agent may exceed $125.00 per hour. No award to compensate an expert witness may exceed $24.09 per hour.

(d) In determining the reasonableness of the fee sought, the adjudicative officer shall consider the following:

(1) The prevailing rate for similar services in the community in which the attorney, agent or witness ordinarily performs services;

(2) The time actually spent in the representation of the applicant;

(3) The difficulty or complexity of the issues in the proceeding;

(4) Such other factors as may bear on the value of the services performed.

[46 FR 63021, Dec. 29, 1981, as amended at 72 FR 37098, July 9, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§16.108   Awards against other agencies.

If an applicant is entitled to an award because it prevails over another agency of the United States that participates in a proceeding before the Department of Labor and the other agency takes a position that is not substantially justified, the award or an appropriate portion of the award shall be made against that agency by the adjudicative officer for the Department of Labor.

return arrow Back to Top

Need assistance?