U.S. Supreme Court Holds Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Are Exempt Outside Sales Employees

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated opinion in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., one of the only U.S. Supreme Court cases to address overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the first to address the criteria for the application of the “outside sales” exemption. In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court held that pharmaceutical sales representatives who were employed by GlaxoSmithKline PLC, formerly known as SmithKline Beecham Corp., were primarily engaged in “sales,” and therefore were properly classified as exempt under the FLSA’s outside sales exemption. To learn more about the decision and its implications for employers, please continue reading at Littler's Healthcare Employment Counsel.

Additionally, for a more detailed analysis of the decision, please see Littler's ASAP, U.S. Supreme Court Holds Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Are Exempt Outside Sales Employees and Rebukes DOL's Efforts to Regulate Via Amicus Filings, by Lisa Schreter, Richard Black, and Libby Henninger.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.