Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp.
|Docket No.||Op. Below||Argument||Opinion||Vote||Author||Term|
Apr 16, 2012
|Jun 18, 2012||5-4||Alito||OT 2011|
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for and/or contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents the petitioners in this case.
Holding: The petitioners – pharmaceutical sales representatives whose primary duty is to obtain nonbinding commitments from physicians to prescribe their employer’s prescription drugs in appropriate cases – qualify as outside salesmen under the most reasonable interpretation of the Department of Labor’s regulations.
Plain English Summary: In this case, two sales representatives of a large pharmaceutical company sued their employer, alleging that they were owed overtime wages. The pharmaceutical company argued the sales representatives were not entitled to overtime wages because they were classified as “outside salesmen,” who are exempt from the federal law that requires payment of overtime wages. The Court held that the sales representatives were outside salesmen and as such are not entitled to overtime wages.
Judgment: Affirmed, 5-4, in an opinion by Justice Alito on June 18, 2012. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion in which Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined.
- Opinion analysis: No overtime for pharmaceutical “detailers” under the FLSA (Sam Wieczorek)
- Argument recap: Has the Department of Labor’s seventy-year silence doomed its position? (Sam Wieczorek)
- Argument preview: The “outside salesman” exception to the FLSA’s overtime-pay requirement (Sam Wieczorek)
- Academic round-up (Amanda Frost)
- Petition of the day (Joshua Matz)
Briefs and DocumentsMerits briefs for the Petitioners
- Brief for Michael Shane Christopher and Frank Buchanan
- Reply brief for Michael Shane Christopher and Frank Buchanan
- Brief for the United States
- Brief for the National Employment Lawyers Association
- Brief for Medical Professionals
- Brief for Certified Class of Pharmaceutical Representatives from Johnson & Johnson
- Brief for Pharmaceutical Representatives
- Brief for the Chamber of Commerce
- Brief for the National Federation of Independent Business
- Brief for the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
- Brief for the Washington Legal Foundation
- Brief of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America