Employment Law -- Employee Archives

Zannikos v Oil Inspections USA: Highly Compensated Employees and the FLSA

Recently, there has been a surge in FLSA litigation. Employees will often join in a suit challenging their status as exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA. A thorough knowledge of how employees are required to be compensated in accordance with the FLSA is an incredible cost saving asset for today's employer. An illustrative and helpful case in this area is Zannikos v. Oil Inspections. In 2012, Vasilios Zannikos, on behalf of all similarly situated employees, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas against his employer, Oil Inspections U.S.A. He alleged his employer failed to pay him overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Oil Inspections U.S.A. specializes in loss control operations in connection with oil cargo transfers. The company's primary function is to oversee and monitor transfers of oil between containers, to ensure it was transferred in accordance with the specifications of their customers. Zannikos was employed as a marine superintendent. This job required the Plaintiffs to monitor and observe oil transfer operations, ensuring they were performed accurately, legally and safely. Plaintiffs served as quality control by inspecting loading and discharge equipment, identifying problems with equipment, safety or calibration, and then recommending remedies to the customers or Oil Inspections. Oil Inspections responded to this suit by filing for summary judgment, alleging marine superintendents were exempt from the requirements of the FLSA because their duties were administrative and they were highly compensated employees.