Monday, November 28, 2011

Drug Reps Overtime Clash Gets Supremes Review - Businessweek

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether drugmakers must pay overtime to as many as 90,000 sales representatives, as the justices heeded calls from both sides for review of what may be a multibillion-dollar case.

The high court today said it will review a lower court’s conclusion that salespeople working for a GlaxoSmithKline Plc unit aren’t covered by a federal wage-and-hour law.

The suit is one of more than a dozen similar cases that have been filed against drugmakers, including Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and units of Novartis AG and Merck & Co. With federal appeals courts divided on the issue, business trade groups joined the Glaxo salespeople in urging review.

“Such suits could potentially lead to billions of dollars in unexpected liability,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a court filing. “Further, they could force the industry to abandon pay practices that have existed -- virtually unchallenged -- since before the Second World War.”

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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