Novartis Sales Reps Win Lawsuit for Overtime Pay

The 2nd Circuit ruled yesterday that Novartis AG's sales representatives merit overtime and are covered by federal wage-and-hour laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Plaintiffs claimed they were underpaid because they were denied time-and-a-half for each hour worked over 40 hours per week from 2000 to 2007.

FLSA requires that employees be paid overtime for more than 40 hours worked per week but allows an exemption for "outside" salespeople and "administrative" employees. This is the first federal appellate decision finding that pharmaceutical sales reps do not qualify as outside salespeople and administrative employees.

Chelsea Hennessy

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