Former Novartis sales representatives sue pharmaceutical company over labor laws
NEW YORK – A former Novartis sales representative filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Swiss drug company seeking $225 million for herself and others whom she alleges were denied overtime pay.The lawsuit, filed by Simona Lopes, alleges Novartis violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State’s overtime laws by failing to pay her for overtime when she worked more than 40 hours a week.The suit was filed in the United States District Court in New York, and is seeking class action status in both New York state and nationwide, according to David Sanford, a lawyer representing Lopes.Sanford said that Lopes was not a commissioned sales representatives, so she was entitled to overtime. Lopes was more of a marketing representative who tried to persuade doctors to prescribe Novartis drugs, Sanford said. He said Lopes did receive bonuses but that they were not specifically tied to physicians’ prescription habits.The Federal case is seeking $150 million in damages, while the state case seeks $75 million.Similar cases were expected to be filed in New Jersey and California later Thursday, Sanford said.A Novartis spokesman said the company was aware of the suit but hadn’t seen it yet so was unable to make an immediate comment.Vail, Colorado
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