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Novo Nordisk Sued in Another Employee Misclassification Lawsuit for $70M

April 10, 2012

Last year our Santa Ana employment attorneys blog discussed an employee misclassification lawsuit filed against the drug company Novo Nordisk. As Vincent Howard reported, the lawsuit was brought by a pharmaceutical sales representative who claimed that the company unlawfully classified the employees as outside salespersons and exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California law.

In a similar lawsuit filed in New York State last month, the drug company was sued again by current and former outside sales representatives who also claim that Novo Nordisk engaged in employee misclassification by classifying them as exempt from state and federal overtime laws.

The class action lawsuit is asking Novo Nordisk for $70 million in overtime pay and damages for willfully misclassifying the outside sales representatives, and failing to pay them overtime wages that are required by state and federal law.

As Vincent Howard has previously reported in our Azusa employment attorneys blog, the classification of exempt versus non-employees continues to be an important workplace topic, as employee misclassification can lead to federal and state wage and hour law violations. Over the past few years there has been an increase in the number of employee misclassification lawsuits filed by exempt workers from the pharmaceutical industry and other industrial sectors, claiming that they have been misclassified and should be entitled to overtime compensation.

Under the federal FLSA, most non-exempt employees are entitled to receive overtime payment for hours worked beyond forty in a week of work, at the rate of one and one-half times the workers' regular compensation rate. The FLSA also allows employers to make exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime payment requirements of the act, for outside sales representatives, administrative, professional, and executive employees, as well as some computer employees.

For outside sales employee exemptions, the main job responsibilities of the employee must be making sales, or obtaining contracts for services or orders for the company. The employee must be regularly engaged in this business away from the employer's establishment of business.

According to Vincent Howard, if an employee has been improperly classified as exempt from overtime payment benefits that are usually available to employees who are non-exempt, the employee may be entitled to receive overtime payment and back wages. Contact our Costa Mesa, California labor and employment attorneys today, at Howard Law, PC, for more information about your employee misclassification issue.

Novo Nordisk sued by US salesforce for $70m, PMLive, March 3, 2012

Novo Nordisk hit with US lawsuit over overtime pay, Reuters, March 5, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:

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"White Collar" Exemptions under the FLSA , California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 12, 2010