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Supreme Court: Pharmaceutical reps exempt from FLSA OT rules

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

by Steven F. Pockrass and Alfred B. Robinson Jr., Esqs., Ogletree Deakins

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that pharmaceutical sales representatives are indeed outside salespeople under the terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in a case that could have far-reaching effects on other wage-and-hour issues.

The ruling in Christopher v. Smith­­Kline Beecham Corp. (No. 11-204, U.S. Sup. Ct., 2012) means that pharmaceutical sales representatives are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirements. Although a critical decision for the pharmaceutical industry, the case is more broadly significant because it provides insight into the weight the Supreme Court would give to agency views of the laws they enforce.

Unusual kinds of ‘sales’

Pharmaceutical companies like SmithKline Beecham promote their drugs to physicians through a process in which sales representatives try to persuade physicians to write prescriptions...(register to read more)

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