A class of pharmaceutical sales representatives has filed suit against North Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories for unpaid overtime. The lawsuit claims that Abbott, like other drug makers, unlawfully classified pharmaceutical reps as salespeople. Salespeople are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In most cases, plaintiffs’ attorneys argued, pharmaceutical reps “don’t actually sell anything” and have “little or no decision-making authority.” They typically work more than eight hours a day. The lawsuit is the latest in a string of back-wage suits against drug makers, such as AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.
Advice: Small companies in many industries are being hit with unpaid-, too. Protect your company by making sure you properly classify employees as exempt and nonexempt, and prohibit hourly employees from working off-the-clock, even for short periods.