Lacking Circuit Court Guidance, District Court Adheres To Earlier Ruling That Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Are Exempt Outside Salespersons
In the latest installment of the ongoing litigation over whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are exempt from overtime under the FLSA (see earlier post here), a district court in Indiana declined to reconsider its decision holding that PSRs do qualify for the outside sales exemption. See Schaefer-Larose v. Eli Lilly & Co., S..D. Ind. Docket No. 07-CV-1133, Order dated Sept. 29, 2010.
The Court observed that “a substantial amount of activity has occurred in courts throughout the country with regard to the question of whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are exempt under the FLSA [since the court issued its decision holding that outside sales exemption applies].” Order at 2; Schaefer-Larose v. Eli Lilly & Co., 663 F. Supp. 2d 674 (S.D. Ind. 2009). While acknowledging that some of these rulings “do not correspond with our analysis” – including the Second Circuit’s recent Novartis decision – absent guidance from the relevant appeals court (the Seventh Circuit), the Court stated that its decision on the issue “cannot be a swinging pendulum, vacillating back and forth as each new ruling addressing this question is handed down by some court or another across the nation.” Id. at 3.
The resolution of whether PSRs qualify for the outside sales or administrative exemption likely will ultimately need to be resolved by the United States Supreme Court.