The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Eli Lilly does not owe a former rep overtime.
According to a report in Medical Marketing and Media, “Wednesday's decision, which reversed a lower court's ruling that the rep was entitled to overtime, deals a blow to the Obama administration. The Labor Department had backed the rep’s overtime claims, and the Office of the Inspector General sided with sales reps in Christopher v. SmithKline against GSK which revolves around the same issue: are sales reps considered outside sales teams or more like typical employees?
The focus of these cases turns on what these employees can or cannot do: regulations bar sales reps from taking drug orders from doctors. Plaintiffs say being deprived of that final step puts labor laws on their side, because it marks them as employees, not as outside sales forces, and therefore eligible for overtime.
Pharma companies counter that reps facilitate sales by showing up and talking with doctors about drugs. The companies say these visits trigger sales and are therefore sales calls, which would put the reps in the category of employees who are not eligible for overtime.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has yet to choose sides—it heard arguments in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham April 16, but has not yet issued an opinion.