JacksonWhite Files Overtime Lawsuit Against Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals
MESA, Ariz., May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Last week, attorneys at the Arizona law firm of JacksonWhite filed a collective action lawsuit against Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for failure to pay its employees the overtime wages to which they are entitled under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on behalf of all Otsuka pharmaceutical reps employed in the U.S. from May 2009 until the present.
Otsuka requires its employees to work well over forty hours per week, and it has never paid its employees overtime wages, despite the overtime requirement that is clearly defined and outlined by federal law. Otsuka’s willful violation of this law could entitle reps to damages of up to two times the amount of overtime wages that Otsuka should have paid them over the past three years.
Otsuka’s policy of withholding overtime wages is by no means unique. Industry-wide, major pharmaceutical companies have knowingly misclassified their pharmaceutical reps as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirement. The tide seems to be turning, however, as reps have banded together en masse to assert their legal rights. In January 2012, for instance, a federal court in New York preliminarily approved a $99 million settlement for Novartis reps that were unlawfully deprived of overtime wages.
In addition to the Otsuka lawsuit, JacksonWhite has a collective action lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline that has been argued and is awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The attorneys working on the case are cautiously optimistic about its outcome. “If the Supreme Court sides with reps in the Glaxo case, it is that much more likely that Otsuka reps will also prevail on their claim,” said Michael Pruitt, lead counsel for the individual and collective plaintiffs.
Importantly, Otsuka reps can only participate in this collective action lawsuit if they provide a written consent to join. And, given that there is a statute of limitations in these types of cases, reps who delay are subject to losing damages to which they might otherwise be entitled. The attorneys at JacksonWhite are interested in speaking with Otsuka reps about opting in to this collective action. Reps who work for other companies might also be able to join a legal action, or file a new action against the company for which they work. For more information, contact JacksonWhite at 888-866-2293 or visit www.pharmaovertime.com.
SOURCE JacksonWhite P.C.