Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Case Goes to Supreme Court

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In a previous post in August, I questioned whether the pharmaceutical companies were losing the exemption battle as it related to pharmaceutical sales representatives and the outside sales exemption. The Supreme Court had declined to review the Second Circuit’s Novartis holding that pharmaceutical sales representatives do not qualify for the outside sales exemption because they do not make sales, and the District of Connecticut had recently found that Schering’s pharmaceutical sales representatives did not meet the administrative exemption test in contrast to the Third Circuit’s Johnson & Johnson decision. Now, it looks that the Supreme Court will finally enter this battle.

This morning, the Supreme Court announced that it has granted certiorari in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., where the Ninth Circuit affirmed that Christopher, a pharmaceutical sales representative, was an “outside salesman” exempt from overtime under the FLSA. In SmithKline, the Ninth Circuit concluded that it owed no deference to the Secretary of Labor’s current interpretation of the outside sales exemption and, in fact, disagreed with the Secretary’s interpretation. This was in contrast to the Second Circuit’s Novartis decision, which adopted the Secretary’s interpretation.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Franczek Radelet P.C. | Attorney Advertising

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