In Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham, a 5-4 decision announced Monday afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that pharmaceutical sales representatives are exempt from the overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") under the outside sales exemption. The Court ruled that the Department of Labor’s interpretation of the exemption, raised for the first time in its brief before the Court, was not entitled to deference. If your business treats some of its employees as exempt from overtime (whether on the basis of the outside sales exemption or another exemption), the case serves as a good reminder to reexamine their job duties to make sure that they satisfy the terms of the applicable exemption.

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