Total Victory for Schering Plough Pharmaceutical Reps in National Suit for Overtime Pay(2)
NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Schering Plough pharmaceutical representatives won a complete victory in Federal Court in a Nationwide Collective Law Suit. The law firms of Joseph, Herzfeld, Hester & Kirschenbaum, Kingsley & Kingsley and attorney Michael Dichiara represent the plaintiffs. The suit charged that plaintiffs often worked in excess of 40 hours a week but received an annual salary without overtime pay at the mandatory rate of time and one half. The amount to be distributed to the class will be determined by the Court, but will likely include double damages for the violation. The federal class action was filed on behalf of all pharma reps who worked for BMS during the last three years, anywhere in the United States.
Attorney Charles Joseph, a partner with Joseph, Herzfeld, stated, "The US Department of Labor recognizes that pharmaceutical reps are not exempt from overtime pay," adding that the department has filed at least four friend of the court briefs in support of overtime compensation for pharma reps.
Joseph explained that the precedent for the class claim was set in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which found earlier this year that Novartis pharma reps were entitled to overtime compensation on the same grounds alleged against Schering Plough. The US Supreme Court refused to hear the drug companies' appeals. The Second Circuit issued a similar ruling in a case brought by pharma reps against Schering Plough, as have district courts in Connecticut, Illinois, Florida and Texas in cases against Boehringer Ingelheim, Abbott, and Auxilum Pharmaceuticals. But, said attorney Dichiara, this ruling is the first of its kind as it found that reps are not exempt under any of the parts of the exemption. Schering had to prove all the parts of the exemption, but it lost on all points.
"This company has violated the labor law, and is now being held accountable by the Cour