Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Entitled to Overtime Pay Rules Federal Appeals Court

When Tennessee workers and any workers across the country put in extra hours and time at their jobs, they expect to be paid for their time and effort. Unfortunately, many times employers fail to pay their workers overtime pay or give them a special exception title, so that they can avoid paying them overtime. However, overtime pay is required by law and if you do not get the pay you deserve, you could be entitled to compensation and should contact a Tennessee Employment Overtime Pay Attorney.

In this specific case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second circuit ruled that pharmaceutical sale representatives who visit doctor’s offices to deliver drug samples and deliver pre-scripted messages describing their employer’s pharmaceuticals are not exemptions to overtime pay because they should not be considered by federal or state law to be “outside sales” or in “administrative” positions and are entitled to overtime pay under federal law. This also applies to Tennessee employees.

This decision was extremely significant for Novartis overtime and other overtime lawsuits concerning pharmaceutical sales representatives across the country. This decision by the Second Circuit “not only reversed the trial judge’s dismissal of the Novartis Reps’ overtime case, but has now held, as a matter of law, that Novartis owes its Reps overtime pay”. This decision is also very important because it is the first federal appeals decision that says that “outside sales” and “administrative” overtime exemptions does not apply to pharmaceutical sales representatives.

A case was made by Norvartis that the representatives are “outside salespersons” and should be covered by the exemptions. However, this decision made it clear that when a pharmaceutical representative goes to a doctor’s office to deliver messages about the employer’s drugs that “in no sense” is that representative making a sale to the doctor according to federal and state overtime laws. The Court decided that these representatives are promoting a product to the doctor which will be sold by another person and are not making a sale.
The Court also decided that these representatives were not “administrative” exemptions because the representatives have no say or role in planning Norvartis marketing strategy, they do not write up the pre-scripted core messages, and they are required by their employer to visit a doctor’s office a specific number of times and are required to promote a certain drug a specific number of times, and finally hold a specific number of promotional events required by Norvartis. This means they are not allowed to make their own judgments or have control over their duties on the job which means they are not “administrative” exemptions to overtime laws.

The Court after this case and its decision also stated the two main reasons for overtime laws. These are “to prevent the evil of overwork and to spread work among as many employees as possible.”

Cases like these happen every day to many people all across the country and even right here to many Tennessee workers and residents. If you or someone you care about has concerns or questions about your overtime payment rights or feel that you are not being paid enough for the hours you work, we encourage you to contact one of our Tennessee Overtime Pay Attorney right away. We will hear your case and make sure you get the compensation that you are entitled to. Feel free to contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

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