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Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham (US 2012)

Articles Discussing Case:

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Major Decision on Overtime Pay

Brody and Associates, LLC • June 20, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that pharmaceutical sales representatives are not entitled to overtime pay. According to the 6-3 decision in Christopher v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., the representatives fall within the Fair Labor Standard’s Act exemption for “outside sales” employees, even though the representatives obtain, at most, a non-binding commitment from a physician to prescribe drugs that are later purchased at a pharmacy.

High Court Declines to Follow DOL's Interpretation of FLSA Regulation

Phelps Dunbar LLP • June 20, 2012
Yesterday, in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that pharmaceutical sales representatives employed by drug companies are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act under the statute's exemption for "outside salesmen." The ruling resolved a conflict among federal circuit courts on the issue and marks a major victory for the pharmaceutical industry. While drug companies have been classifying pharmaceutical sales representatives as exempt for decades, the classification had been recently challenged in numerous courts and, since 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor has sided with employees in arguing that pharmaceutical sales representatives do not satisfy the criteria for exempt outside salesman under FLSA regulations. The Supreme Court's decision to decline deference to the DOL's interpretation of regulations has a far reaching impact that extends beyond the pharmaceutical industry and will affect the way courts view the DOL's position on interpretations of other FLSA regulations.

Pharma Happy With Supreme Court Rx: "No Overtime Pay For Pharma Sales Reps"

Fisher Phillips • June 19, 2012
In an important wage-hour decision with potential relevance beyond the pharmaceutical industry, the Supreme Court held on June 18, 2012, that pharmaceutical sales reps at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act's exemption for "outside salesmen," resolving a split among the courts.

Supreme Court Finds Pharmaceutical Representatives Exempt From Overtime

Franczek Radelet P.C • June 19, 2012
This morning the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that pharmaceutical representatives are "outside salesmen" exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Christopher v. Smithkline Beecham Corp. (.pdf).

Function Over Form: The Supreme Court's Realistic View of the FLSA

Ogletree Deakins • June 19, 2012
For those who think that one of the travesties of the recent history of employment law has been the explosion of FLSA collective action litigation, today's 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court holding that pharmaceutical representatives are in fact exempt employees under the outside sales exemption is a re-affirmation that common sense can in fact prevail. Christopher v. SmithklineBeacham Corp. (6/18/12).

High Court Rules Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Are Exempt From FLSA's Overtime Requirements

Ogletree Deakins • June 19, 2012
On June 18, 2012, with Justice Samuel Alito writing for a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether the term "outside salesman," as defined by Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, encompasses pharmaceutical sales representatives. The Court ruled that these sales representatives qualify as outside salesmen and thus, are exempt from the overtime compensation requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Given "the industry's decades-long practice of classifying pharmaceutical detailers as exempt employees" and the DOL's failure to initiate any enforcement actions with respect to sales representatives, the Court found that a decision to the contrary "would result in precisely the kind of ‘unfair surprise’ against which our cases have long warned." Although a critical decision for the pharmaceutical industry in its own right, the case generally has been viewed more importantly for its insight as to the weight the Supreme Court would give to agency views of the laws they enforce. Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., DBA GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11–204, U.S. Supreme Court (June 18, 2012).

Big Supreme Court Win For Pharmaceutical Industry

Fisher Phillips • June 19, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that pharmaceutical sales representatives employed by GlaxoSmithKline were exempt from overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "outside salesman" exemption. The Court's decision in Christopher v. Smithkline Beecham Corp. resolves conflicting views expressed by a number of federal courts.

Supreme Court Finds Pharmaceutical Representatives Exempt From Overtime

Franczek Radelet P.C • June 19, 2012
This morning the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that pharmaceutical representatives are "outside salesmen" exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Christopher v. Smithkline Beecham Corp. (.pdf).

Legal Alert: Supreme Court Finds Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Exempt

FordHarrison LLP • June 19, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court held today that pharmaceutical sales representatives qualify as "outside salesmen" and, accordingly, are exempt from the overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). See Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. (No. 11-204, U.S. June 18, 2012). Importantly, the Court also refused to give controlling deference to the Department of Labor's (DOL) change of position in interpreting the regulation to exclude these employees, which was first announced in amicus briefs filed in court litigation. The Court noted that where, as here, an agency's announcement of its interpretation is preceded by a lengthy period of conspicuous inaction, "the potential for unfair surprise is acute."