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Total Articles: 16

Commissioned Salesman Might Be Owed Overtime Even Though He Earned More Than $70,000

As a recent appeals court ruling illustrates, paying an employee a lot of money does not necessarily guarantee that he will be exempt from overtime requirements.

Court Finds Commissioned Jewelry Salesman Qualifies For Outside Sales Exemption Based On His Own Complaint’s Allegations

Because most FLSA exemptions are affirmative defenses, their applicability is not often established by the Plaintiff’s Complaint, of which s/he is “master” and can shape to avoid addressing exemption-triggering duties. There are exceptions. In a recent opinion, a Manhattan federal district judge ruled that a commissioned salesman who traveled from his home office to conduct jewelry sales at customers’ places of business qualified as an exempt outside salesperson under the FLSA and New York Labor Law based on his own Complaint’s allegations. Cangelosi v. Gabriel Bros, Inc., 15-cv-3736 (JMF), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140579 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 15, 2015).

New York Federal Court: Employee at Parts Company Is Exempt Outside Salesperson

An employee for an automotive and truck parts company is an exempt outside salesperson under the FLSA and the New York Labor Law, despite allegations that he was only a service technician, the Court for the Eastern District of New York rules. Domenech v. Parts Auth., Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101214 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2015).

Ninth Circuit Holds Service Advisors Non-Exempt Under FLSA Dealership "Salesman" Exemption; Section 7(i) Exemption Is Still Available

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service Advisors employed by automobile dealerships do not qualify for the Section 13(b)(10)(A) overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It is the first court to have held this way

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

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

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.

Supreme Court Issues Outside Sales Exemption Ruling

The Court rules that pharma reps fall under the FLSA outside sales exemption.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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."

Are Pharmaceutical Companies Losing the Exemption Battle?

Recently, another group of pharmaceutical sales representatives successfully demonstrated that they are not exempt from overtime under the FLSA. Kuzinski, et al., v. Schering Corp Focusing on the administrative exemption, the District Court of Connecticut held that the sales representatives’ work was not directly related to Schering’s management or general business operations and they lacked the necessary exercise of discretion and independent judgment to meet the requirements of the exemption. The sales representatives did not directly sell pharmaceutical products, instead individualizing Schering’s canned sales pitch to promote certain products to identified customers. At the end of the day, the sales representatives simply used the core messages and promotional strategies developed by Schering, rather than developing those messages and strategies themselves.

SmithKline Beecham Wins On "Outside Salesman" Exemption

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has added another chapter in the saga of whether pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) qualify for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "outside salesman" exemption. The court recently ruled in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline that the Glaxo PSRs did fall within the exemption. The decision creates a split in the federal appellate courts by finding that the exemption applied to PSRs performing duties essentially the same as those found to be non-exempt by the Second Circuit in the Novartis case about which we previously reported.