Sales & Pharmaceutical Reps Working Overtime

Most sales representatives receive an hourly wage and can also be compensated with a commission of their overall sales. These employees are also entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. However, some sales representatives lose these benefits when their employer misclassifies them as an outside sales representative.

An outside sales representative usually makes and follows their own leads, and spends more than half their time making sales outside of a store or office. They are considered contract employees, and thus are exempt from benefits such as overtime pay and health insurance.

Sales representatives who receive hourly, commission, or salary pay are entitled to receive overtime wages when their workweek has exceeded 40 hours. If your employer has misclassified you as an outside sales representative, then you could be eligible for back-pay of regular or overtime wages.

The Fair Labor Standards Act makes a distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees. An exempt employee includes contract workers, which an outside sales representative would fall under. A non-exempt worker must be paid 1.5 of their regular hourly wage for every hour they work over the normal 40 hour workweek.

If you are a misclassified sales representative, your employer could owe you unpaid wages, commission, or overtime wages. An overtime attorney can help you determine your classification, and lay out a plan of action to get the unpaid wages you are owed from your employer.

If you believe you are a misclassified sales representative, call Dunham & Jones to review your case. Dunham & Jones represents clients whose job misclassification has cost them unpaid wages.

It is critical to call or fill out the Contact Us form right away.  Unpaid wage claims are very complex.  You need contact us even if you don’t think you have a claim.  Our wage evaluation is free and confidential.

Call 1-800-499-8455 or Complete the form below

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


I am a sales representative who does work in the field, from the office, and during promotional events. Am I exempt as an outside salesperson?

The exemption test for outside sales employees are: your primary job must be making sales, acquiring orders or contracts for service, and you must be regularly away from the employer’s place of business.

Every case is different, and determining exemption can be complicated. If you do not qualify under the outside sales exemption, then you are entitled to overtime wages. Overtime pay is time-and-a-half for hours worked that exceed forty hours a week.

What your employer tells you about your exemption, and how the law defines exemption, are two separate issues. Your employer may not understand the law well, or they could be hiding certain facts from you to avoid paying you overtime. Sometimes employers willfully misclassified their employees to save money, but just because you have been misclassified does not mean you cannot recover your past wages.

A wage claim can recover unpaid wages going back two years, and in some cases even three years.

Wage dispute cases are fundamentally complicated. If you believe you may have not received the correct wages due to an exemption status error, you should call our offices right away to examine your case. We will meet with you for a free, initial evaluation. Many clients have thought they did not have a claim until they met with one of our attorneys and were surprised to discover they were owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages. There are deadlines to meet in wage recovery cases, so do not procrastinate on filing a claim. Call now or fill out a contact form as soon as possible.


I am a pharmaceutical sales representative in Texas and have worked more than 40 hours a week. Shouldn’t I be paid overtime?

There are two categories of sales representatives according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Typically, pharmaceutical sales representatives fall under an outside sales exemption, however your specific job duties may not meet the requirements of this exemption.

To qualify for the outside sales exemption, the outside sales employees’ main duties must be making sales, acquiring orders, or acquiring contracts for services and their work must be regularly done away from the employer’s premises.

Another exemption often applied to sales representatives is the administrative exemption. One requirement of the administration exemption is that the employee’s primary duty must include the exercise of independent judgement and discretion when it comes to matters of significance. The administrative exemption also requires that employees’ work is related to the general business operations or management of the employer.

If you do not have the authority and discretion to make decisions on matters of importance that have a significant impact on your company, you may not fall under the administrative exemption.

Your employer may insist that you are exempt, but if these exemptions do not apply to you, then your employer may be in error. If you are listed as an exempt employee in error, then you could be entitled to years of unpaid back pay, including damages. You could recover unpaid wages going back two years, and if your employer knowingly exempted you to avoid overtime pay, you could recover damages as far back as three years.

There are time limits on making wage claims. If you do not make a claim in a timely manner you may not be able to recover your unpaid wages. If you are unsure of the validity of your exemption status, an hour and wage attorney can review your case and help you with your claim for unpaid wages.

If you are a sales representative who has worked more than 40 hours a week, call us to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys and find out if you have a potential claim. It is important that you call our offices as soon as possible so you do not miss any important deadlines, and so we can make a quick recovery of your wages. Call now or fill out the contact form to schedule an appointment. Your initial evaluation is free and confidential.