Sales Reps and Merchandisers
Food and beverage suppliers often employ workers to make sure the supplier’s product is on the chain store shelves (such as Walmart, Target, Kroger) and in the correction locations. Some of the workers may be considered “sales reps” and others are merchandisers.
The “sales rep” is often responsible for:
- Policing the store shelves and displays to make sure the product is in the right location and to make sure competitors didn’t take their assigned space.
- Ensuring there is adequate product to fill the shelves and displays and to support upcoming promotions. For example, “sales reps” may encourage store personnel to order additional product to support a promotion. Some “sales reps” also order the product or deliver it.
- Confirming that any displays are in the correct locations.
- Merchandising product to the store shelves and displays.
- Asking store managers for permission to build displays, and then building and merchandising the displays.
- Tidying up the supplier’s product backroom if it’s messy or disorganized.
“Sales reps” may be paid a salary, commissions, or bonuses. And even though the “sales rep” works 45, 50, 60, or more hours a week, the supplier doesn’t pay overtime wages. Because these suppliers may treat their workers as “outside sales” exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and refuse to pay overtime wages, the suppliers have an incentive to work the employees as much as possible. Getman, Sweeney & Dunn believes that many “sales reps” who visit chain grocery stores are entitled to overtime wages because they do not actually “sell” within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Contact Getman, Sweeney & Dunn if you worked in-store as a “sales rep.” We would like to speak with you about whether you were paid all wages you were owed, please contact us or send us the information needed by filling out the Industry Inquiry form on the right. You can also make an appointment to speak with our intake coordinator here.
Merchandisers are often paid by the hour, and they may receive bonuses. However, suppliers may not pay merchandisers for all the hours they worked. For example, merchandisers may do some work at home in order to prepare for the upcoming work day, but that time is unpaid. Suppliers may also not reimburse merchandiser for business expenses like mileage for travel between stores. This failure causes the merchandiser to receive less than the promised wages, and could result in minimum or overtime pay violations. Further, if merchandisers are paid bonuses and work overtime, those bonuses may have to be included in the overtime pay calculation. The failure to include bonuses in the overtime pay calculation may result in an overtime violation.
Contact Getman, Sweeney & Dunn if you worked in-store as a “sales rep” or merchandiser. We would like to speak with us about whether you were paid all wages you were owed, please contact us or send us the information needed by filling out the Industry Inquiry form.
If you work in this industry and would like to speak with us about whether you were paid all wages you were owed, please send us the information needed by filling out the Industry Inquiry form.