Sales Reps Sue Drug Giants on Overtime Pay
United Press International (Nov. 30, 2006) is first to cover the series of lawsuits brought by Joseph & Kirschenbaum partner Charles Joseph, alleging that major pharmaceutical companies incorrectly classified hundreds of their employees as salespeople. This allowed them to deny the employees overtime pay, which saved them millions of dollars because the representatives routinely worked 50 to 70 hours a week and were expected to make their pitches to doctors at evening and weekend events. Because pharmaceutical representatives don't sell the drugs, the suits said, the salespeople classification is inappropriate and the pharmaceutical companies are in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and multiple state laws requiring overtime.
Pharmaceutical Workers Sue for Back Pay
This Associated Press article from December 28, 2006 tells the story of pharmaceutical representative Susan Schaefer LaRose, one of the hundreds of representatives who sued major drug manufacturers for illegally denying them overtime, with help from Joseph & Kirschenbaum partner Charles Joseph. Schaefer LaRose, of upstate New York, told the AP that her employer Eli Lilly, outright denied representatives the ability to write reports during working hours, forcing them to do it at night and on weekends. She also told the wire service that while she started out in a genuine sales job, for which a sales exemption from overtime would be appropriate, her job had shrunk to repeating a script.
Pharmaceutical Representatives File Nationwide
Partner Charles Joseph is ahead of the curve in this November 30, 2006 Business Wire article on pharmaceutical representative overtime claims. The representatives, whose job is to convince doctors to prescribe the drugs they represent, claim that they work long days, long hours and weekends with no extra pay because they've been incorrectly classified as salespeople. Nonetheless, they don't actually sell anything, Joseph noted. One representative, who worked for Pfizer for 20 years, said she was expected to be available "24/7,"a requirement that frequently complicated her life as a single mother.
Drug Salespeople Sue for Unpaid Overtime
The series of pharmaceutical representative lawsuits spearheaded by partner Charles Joseph grows in this Business Wire article from Jan. 9, 2007. Sanofi-Aventis U.S. was the most recent drug maker to face a lawsuit alleging that it illegally misclassified its representatives as salespeople, allowing it to deny them overtime while asking them to work 55 or more hours a week. Pharmaceutical representatives cannot be considered salespeople because doctors don't buy drugs from them. Doctors prescribe drugs for patients to buy at pharmacies. The article invited representatives to visit http://pharmarepovertime.com/ or call (212) 688-5640 if they're interested in joining the lawsuits.