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Class action lawsuits filed on behalf of thousands of pharmaceutical sales representatives involve allegations of unpaid overtime against eight major drug companies. The essence of the claims involves demands for overtime compensation for the hours that the drug representatives spend attempting to push the particular pharmaceutical drugs in the doctors’ offices.

There are more than a dozen such overtime lawsuits involving pharmaceutical companies and most of them have been filed in the past six months. The cases are pending in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California. Several more suits are expected next week in Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

The defendant companies claim that the employees are exempt from overtime laws for the hundreds of hours of overtime that they work because the reps qualify as “outside sales persons”. The reps testified that they do not actually make sales and merely serve as marketing agents.

The cases reflect the extent to which employers will attempt to require or urge employees to work additional hours without compensating them for appropriate overtime pay.

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