Overtime laws require most employees to be paid overtime when they work more than forty hours in a week. However, overtime pay has been denied to pharmaceutical sales representatives for some time. Recent interpretations of the law have given rise to some changes and many pharmaceutical employees are entitled to repayment of overtime.
For years, pharmaceutical companies have refused to pay overtime to their representatives by hiding behind an exception to the general rule that is applicable to employees making sales outside of the employer’s office. The problem with this is that pharmaceutical sales representatives are not actually making sales. Their job typically involves going to local hospitals and doctors’ offices to promote their companies’ products. They talk to doctors and ask them to prescribe their employers’ drugs, but they never actually make a single sale. Doctors do not purchase drugs, but instead they write prescriptions to their patients who may, or may not, follow their doctor’s orders and purchase the drugs. Even the customer doesn’t buy from the pharmaceutical companies, but rather, the pharmaceutical companies sell their drugs to pharmacies that eventually sell to the patients.
Courts have found that pharmaceutical sales representatives are performing marketing functions, rather than sales functions, and are not engaged in outside sales. If you have worked in the pharmaceutical sales industry in the past and have questions about whether you were properly paid, contact and experienced wage and hour employment lawyer today.