Novartis Pharmaceutical Wage & Hour Class Action – $99 Million Overtime Pay Settlement

Case Type: Wage & Hour

Filed in: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Docket: Case no.: 1:06-MD-01794

Case Summary

In 2006, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed separate class action lawsuits, in the Central District of California and the Southern District of New York, against the pharmaceutical giant Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (”Novartis”) on behalf of sales representatives who were unlawfully denied overtime wages, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The class actions were consolidated in New York federal court, with a plaintiff class composed of approximately 2,500 sales representatives employed by Novartis roughly between March 2000 and April 2007.

In 2009, the Court granted Novartis’ motion for summary judgement on plaintiffs’ FLSA claims, and Sanford Heisler Sharp appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

In July 2010, the 2nd Circuit ruled for the appellant sales representatives, finding that Novartis had failed to prove that the class members were ineligible for overtime under the FLSA.

In February 2011, the United States Supreme Court denied Novartis’ application to review the 2nd Circuit’s decision. Following the Supreme Court’s denial of review, counsel for Novartis and Sanford Heisler Sharp engaged in extensive negotiations to explore settlement of the plaintiffs’ overtime class action.

In January 2012, the parties reached an agreement to settle the case for $99 million, which was one of the largest-ever settlements of a wage and hour case.