The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its much-anticipated ruling in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham, ruling 5-4 that pharmaceutical sales reps are exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outside sales exemption.
The decision in 100 words or less
The ruling is considered a major victory for pharmaceutical employers. In short, the Supreme Court found that the U.S. Department of Labor’s arguments were “flatly inconsistent” with the statute itself. As a result, pharma employers weren’t on “clear notice” of potential violations and the DOL’s enforcement was an “unfair surprise.”
What does it mean for non-pharma employers?
While the ruling basically only applies to pharmaceutical companies, it could make the Department of Labor think a bit longer and harder before taking other aggressive FLSA positions to court.
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This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.