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US Supreme Court Denies Certiorari and Thereby Leaves in Place Second Circuit Ruling That Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Must Pay its Sales Representatives Overtime Compensation
Date:2/28/2011

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Supreme Court today denied Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation's petition for certiorari, thereby refusing to disturb the liability judgment against Novartis issued by the Second Circuit in In re Novartis Wage & Hour Litigation, 611 F.3d 141 (2010). The Second Circuit held that thousands of U.S. sales representatives ("Reps") employed by Novartis are entitled to overtime pay because the Reps are not subject to either the "Outside Sales" or "Administrative" exemptions to overtime compensation under Federal, New York and California law.

In so ruling, the Second Circuit gave controlling deference to the opinion of the U.S. Secretary of Labor, who filed an amicus brief supporting the position that two exclusions to overtime pay – the Outside Sales and Administrative exemptions – did not apply to Novartis's Reps.

"The Court's denial of certiorari to Novartis is a victory for thousands of the company's Reps who labored long and hard for Novartis – often working over 70 hours a week – and yet were denied the overtime pay that is their due," said David Sanford, founding partner in Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP ("SWH"), the law firm representing the Novartis Reps.  "Everybody knows that justice delayed is justice denied.  We are hopeful that Novartis will do the right thing and carry out the Second Circuit's ruling by immediately instituting an overtime compensation system for its Reps and paying the Reps the overtime monies that the company has withheld for so many years."

Another SWH partner, Jeremy Heisler, pointed out that New York state recently amended its overtime laws a
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SOURCE Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP
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