Drug Rep Ruling May Give Employers More Ammo In OT Suits


This article discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of GlaxoSmithKline in finding that the Fair Labor Standards Act's outside sales exemption applies to pharmaceutical sales representatives.  In a case that marks the first time the court has ruled on any of the so-called white collar exemptions to the FLSA, the court concluded that the sales reps act “in the capacity of a salesman,” as the statute requires for the overtime pay exemption to apply.

Littler’s Tammy McCutchen commented that “the most significant aspect of the court's interpretation of the exemption itself was the willingness of the majority not to fall in line with the standard language that all exemptions should be interpreted narrowly and instead to say that the applicability of exemptions should not be interpreted based on technicalities.” She notes that the decision could lead other courts to take a broader approach to the exemptions than they have in the past.

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