Former pharmaceutical representative Timothy Brennantoday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan against Warner Chilcott charging the drug corporation with illegally denying him compensation for overtime hours. The law firm of Joseph, Herzfeld, Hester & Kirschenbaum LLP represents Brennan.
The suit charges that during his four-and-a-half years of employment, Brennan often worked in excess of 40 hours a week but received an annual salary without overtime pay. The New York class action was filed on behalf of Brennan and all other pharma reps who worked for Warner Chilcott in New York during the last six years.
New York overtime law requires that employees be paid time-and-a-half overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week, unless they are specifically exempt.
Attorney Charles Joseph, a partner with Joseph, Herzfeld Hester & Kirschenbaum LLP, stated, “The US Department of Labor recognizes that pharmaceutical reps are not exempt from overtime pay under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and New York overtime law is consistent with the FLSA.”
Joseph explained that the precedent for Brennan’s claim was set in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which found that Novartis pharma reps were entitled to overtime compensation on the same basic grounds alleged against Warner Chilcott. (Novartis recently settled the overtime lawsuit for$99 million.) The Second Circuit issued a similar ruling in a case brought by pharma reps against Schering Plough, as have district courts in Connecticut and Illinois in cases against Boerrhinger Ingelehein and Abbott.
Brennan, who worked for the company in Manhattan, said, “For years, this company failed to pay representatives their earned overtime. This lawsuit holds them accountable.”
“Our view is that Mr. Brennan and other Warner Chilcott reps are owed a great deal of money for working extraordinarily long hours with no additional compensation,” Joseph said. “This is a chance to achieve justice for the reps.”