Nitro-Lift Techs., L.L.C. v. Howard

Nitro-Lift contracts with operators of oil and gas wells to provide services. Howard and Schneider entered a confidentiality-noncompetition agreement with Nitro-Lift that contained an arbitration clause” After working for Nitro-Lift on wells in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas, they quit and began working for one of Nitro-Lift’s competitors. Nitro-Lift served them with a demand for arbitration. The former employees filed suit Oklahoma, asking the court to declare the agreements void and enjoin enforcement. The court dismissed. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the parties to show cause why the matter should not be resolved by application of Okla. Stat., Tit. 15, 219A, which limits the enforceability of noncompetition agreements. Nitro-Lift argued that any dispute as to the contracts’ enforceability was a question for the arbitrator. The Oklahoma Supreme Court held that the existence of an arbitration agreement in an employment contract does not prohibit judicial review of the underlying agreement. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated, holding that the state court misconstrued the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. 1, which favors arbitration. View "Nitro-Lift Techs., L.L.C. v. Howard" on Justia Law