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Novartis Sales Rep Overtime Illinois

Although Illinois pharmaceutical sales representative jobs have been considered exempt from overtime pay, recent lawsuits involving Illinois sales representatives challenge that exemption. Lawsuits filed outside of Illinois, have resulted in the courts finding that Novartis sales representatives do not have authority or discretion in their job and are not directly involved in selling pharmaceutical products. Recently, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of rulings in favor of Novartis sales representatives, meaning Novartis will have to pay overtime wages. This ruling could have an impact on Illinois pharmaceutical sales reps.


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Illinois Overtime and Novartis Sales Representatives

novartissalesrepot Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees are entitled to overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a workweek. People who are involved in outside sales, however, are typically considered exempt from overtime pay because they have unlimited earning potential due to their commissions—the more they sell, the more money they can make. Furthermore, they often work independently from a main office and have discretion in what hours they work.

Illinois Novartis Sales Overtime Pay

For a long time, Illinois pharmaceutical sales representatives were considered exempt from overtime pay. They could be considered exempt either as outside sales people or under the administrative exemption, if they have discretion and authority in their job.

Some recent lawsuits, however, have resulted in the courts determining that pharmaceutical sales reps should be paid overtime for their hours worked because they do not fall under either the outside sales exemption or the administrative exemption.

Illinois Sales Representative Overtime Lawsuit

A lawsuit, filed in Illinois against Abbott Laboratories, Inc., alleged that Abbott's pharmaceutical sales representatives should have been paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week. Abbott Laboratories argued that its pharmaceutical sales representatives qualified for both the administrative exemption and the outside sales exemptions. The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois disagreed with Abbott, finding that the sales rep's activities did not result in a sale or order and that they did not exercise sufficient discretion and independent judgment in their jobs.

Novartis Sales Representative Overtime Lawsuit

legalmalpracticelawyers A lawsuit filed against Novartis alleged that Novartis sales representatives should be paid overtime because they do not meet the requirements for overtime exemption. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the Novartis pharmaceutical sales representatives, finding that the Novartis sales representatives should be paid overtime.

The court found that the content of the sales pitches was controlled by Novartis and Novartis sales reps had no discretion over the tone or content of the sales pitches. This led the court to conclude that Novartis sales representatives do not fall under the guidelines of administrative exemption because they did not have any authority over Novartis management policies or practices.

Furthermore, Novartis sales reps did not fall under the "outside salesmen" exemption because their primary duty was not making sales or obtaining orders. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that Novartis sales reps promote pharmaceuticals, but do not sell them. It is up to the physician to prescribe the medication and then up to the patient to fill that prescription. That is, the drugs are not technically "sold" until the patient who has been prescribed a particular medicine has gone to have his prescription filled at a pharmacy or drug store.

The Department of Labor, supports the pharmaceutical sales reps, arguing that the pharmaceutical sales force was never exempt from overtime pay because the representatives do not make sales or obtain orders, nor do they exercise discretion and independent judgment.

Novartis Sales Representative Lawsuit

Novartis appealed the decision to the US Supreme Court, which has now refused to review the federal court's ruling in favor of the Novartis sales representatives. This means that Novartis could have to pay approximately $100 million to around 2,500 current and former pharmaceutical sales representatives. Novartis expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court's decision. That decision could have an effect on Illinois Novartis pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Novartis Sales Rep Illinois Overtime Legal Help

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Novartis Sales Jump amid Sales Representative Lawsuits
Novartis Sales Jump amid Sales Representative Lawsuits
July 19, 2011
While Novartis overtime lawsuits continue to be decided across the US, the German pharmaceutical company experienced a second-quarter profit increase of 29 percent, according to a recent Bloomberg report. READ MORE


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