US Supreme Court to Decide Important Wage and Hour Case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a writ of certiorari in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. The Ninth Circuit’s opinion, now on appeal, can be viewed here.

The issue was whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are “outside salesman” as referenced in Section 213(a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act and therefore exempt from legal overtime requirements. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the salespeople were exempt from overtime, thus refusing to defer to the Department of Labor’s regulations on this issue.

The Supreme Court has granted review on these issues:

“(1) Whether deference is owed to the Secretary of Labor's interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act's outside sales exemption and related regulations; and (2) whether the Fair Labor Standards Act's outside sales exemption applies to pharmaceutical sales representatives.”

The petition for certiorari may be viewed here.