A Novartis AG U.S. subsidiary has agreed to pay $99 million to settle long-running overtime litigation involving its sale representatives. A group of current and former sales representatives sued Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. in 2006, seeking overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week. A federal district judge in New York agreed with Novartis that the sales representatives were exempt from federal overtime rules. But the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and reversed the lower court’s ruling in July 2010. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case last year. That led to negotiations which ultimately resulted in this settlement.
The settlement is subject to final court approval. U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty, sitting in Manhattan, said at a pretrial conference that he would grant preliminary approval to the settlement when he received it. A fairness hearing was scheduled by the court for May 31. If approved, Novartis will have to compensate its sales representatives for years of overtime pay. David Sanford, a lawyer with Sanford Wittels & Heisler, represented the sales representatives in this case, and he did a very good job.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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