Judge grants injunction in ex-Estee Lauder executive dispute
On Thursday, U.S District Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled the noncompete
and nonsolicitation agreement with Shashi Batra is valid and Batra will
be restricted from working for N.V. Perricone M.D. Ltd. for five months.
served as global general manager of Estee Lauder's Rodan+Fields brand
and general manager of its Darphin brand in North America until March,
when he took a similar position at rival Perricone.
"It is concluded
that Batra's absence from the industry for a few months will not
significantly impair his ability to earn a livelihood in the future and
therefore will not cause Batra undue hardship," the judge said in his
The contract calls for Batra to continue to earn full salary
at Estee Lauder during the noncompete period and permits him to earn
additional compensation from noncompetitive work during the period.
Batra earned $375,000 a year at Estee Lauder.
A lawyer for Batra wasn't immediately available to comment on Friday.
Lauder filed its lawsuit in March shortly after Batra left the company
and filed his own lawsuit in California state court seeking to
invalidate the noncompete contract.
According to Estee Lauder's
lawsuit, Batra signed the noncompete agreement in January 2004. The
contract restricted him from working for a direct competitor for a
12-month period after leaving Estee Lauder.
However, Judge Sweet
found that Estee Lauder reduced the timeframe of similar noncompete
periods for other executives who previously left the company and that
the cosmetics maker had offered to reduce the noncompete period to four
months when Batra announced his resignation.