Oral argument: April 16, 2012
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Feb. 14, 2011)
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) requires employers to pay employees one-and-a-half times their normal wages for any time worked over forty hours in a given week, but exempts “outside salesmen” from this overtime pay requirement. Respondent GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) refused to pay overtime to petitioners Michael Christopher and Frank Buchanan, whom it employed as pharmaceutical sales representatives, because it considered them to be “outside salesmen.” Christopher and Buchanan sued, arguing that they were not “outside salesmen” under the Secretary of Labor’s interpretation. The Supreme Court will determine whether that interpretation is entitled to deference and whether Christopher and Buchanan are subject to the FLSA’s outside salesman exemption.