Supreme Court’s Pro-Pharma Decision On Sales Rep Overtime Reproves Informal Agency Policymaking

The Pink Sheet

The article examines the U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 ruling in Christopher v. SmithKline, which states that pharmaceutical sales reps are outside sales employees, one of the employment categories exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Littler’s Tammy McCutchen notes that despite its split on the question of what constitutes a sale, the court was unanimous in denying deference to the Department of Labor. She commented this will have a broad impact on regulatory agencies since it narrows the circumstances under which courts will defer to agency interpretations of their own ambiguous regulations.

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