Court to look at overtime pay for drug sales reps

November 28, 2011 - 11:15 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether pharmaceutical sales representatives can bill their employers for overtime, a case that could affect the pay of tens of thousands of people.

The court said Monday that it will review a federal appeals court ruling that held the sales reps do not qualify for overtime under federal labor law. Other appeals courts have ruled differently and the pharmaceutical industry joined in the call for Supreme Court review.

The sales reps meet with physicians in the hope that doctors will prescribe one company's medicine over another's. Two salesmen who once worked for drug maker GlaxoSmithKline filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that they were not paid for the 10 to 20 hours they worked each week on average outside the normal business day.