Ex-Abbott reps sue for overtime wages

Share this article:

Two former Abbott Laboratories sales reps have sued the company in federal court in Chicago, claiming the drugmaker denied them overtime wages.


The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, comes on the heels of similar lawsuits filed last year by reps against other pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.


The lawsuit argues that Abbott classifies its reps as exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, meaning they are not entitled to receive overtime pay.


Under current federal labor laws, sales forces can be exempt from overtime wages. But attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case argue that drug reps often work up to 70 hours a week and should not be classified as sales people.


“Although the companies claim that the representatives are salespersons and therefore not protected by overtime laws, with some exceptions, they actually don’t sell anything,” said attorney Charles Joseph of Joseph & Herzfeld, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the former Abbott employees. “Rather, they are tasked to influence the prescribing behaviors of doctors.”


The lawsuit is asking the court to order Abbott to start paying overtime to its pharmaceutical reps and seeks compensation to current and former employees denied overtime pay.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders


Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Channel

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: ...

Pharma has sought 76 meetings with FDA over biosimilars; Gilead licenses Sovaldi to India generic drugmakers; Pfizer and Ranbaxy Lipitor lawsuit dismissed.

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Why Novo Nordisk is choosing not to leverage Victoza's brand equity as it seeks a weight-loss indication for liraglutide.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, ...

An FDA panel voted in favor of liraglutide for weight loss; Allergan investors backing an attempted takeover of the firm crossed a critical threshold; and 100 million health wearables are ...