Overtime: not just for blue-collar workers
Legal Times newspaper reports on a growing trend in overtime cases in Drug Salespeople Sue for Unpaid Overtime: Following what lawyers describe as a growing trend in class action overtime litigation, thousands of pharmaceutical representatives are suing eight major drug companies over unpaid overtime for all the hours they spend hawking drugs in doctors' offices.
Currently, more than a dozen such pharmaceutical overtime lawsuits -- all of them filed in recent months -- are pending in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Several more are expected to be filed this week in New York, Pennsylvania and possibly Minnesota.
Defendants include AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Amgen Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Bayer Corp. and Hoffman-LaRoche Inc., which had oral arguments scheduled for Monday. ...
In the pharmaceutical cases, plaintiffs allege that drug companies are misclassifying them as salespeople, denying them overtime even though they work 50- to 60-hour weeks. They argue that they're not actually selling anything, but rather acting as public relations representatives who memorize carefully worded scripts about drugs.
"These reps aren't making sales. They're marketing products to doctors ... They are not sales reps, but pharm-bots who do and say as they are told," said Eric Kingsley of Los Angeles-based Kingsley & Kingsley, who is representing plaintiffs in several of the lawsuits.
Some company officials denied the allegations, while others declined comment.