708.21 Referral to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.§ 708.21 Referral to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.
(a) If a complaint is not dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or other good cause, the Head of Field Element or EC Director (as applicable) will forward the complaint to the OHA Director by the later of:
(1) The 25th day after receipt of the employer's response, or
(2) The 5th day after receipt of an order to continue processing the complaint following an appeal of dismissal.
(b) The Head of the Field Element or EC Director (as applicable) will notify all parties that the complaint has been referred to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.
(c) The OHA Director and an Administrative Judge appointed to preside over any aspect of a part 708 proceeding are prohibited, beginning with the complaint's referral to the OHA and until a final agency decision is issued, from initiating or otherwise engaging in ex parte discussions with any party on the merits of the complaint.
(d) In all proceedings under this subpart:
(1) The parties have the right to be represented by a person of their choosing or to proceed without representation. The parties are responsible for producing witnesses on their behalf, including requesting the issuance of subpoenas, if necessary;
(2) Formal rules of evidence do not apply, but the OHA may use the Federal Rules of Evidence as a guide.