Plaintiffs in two workplace discrimination lawsuits filed against Meow Wolf in 2019 recently reached settlements with the company within days, but both sides in each case have been mum on details.
Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe-based interactive arts and entertainment giant, which began as a small artist collective, has grown into a sprawling company with more than 500 employees and projects in the works in Las Vegas, Nev.; Denver, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.
In May, it announced it was raising its hourly minimum wage to $17.
That same month, two former employees filed a lawsuit in state District Court in Santa Fe alleging gender discrimination, unfair pay practices and wrongful termination. Tara Khozein and Gina Maciuszek settled their case Feb. 4, according to court documents.
In December, Denver-based employees Zoë Williams and Mar Williams (no relation) filed a lawsuit, also in state District Court in Santa Fe, alleging higher-level workers discriminated against them because of their gender identities and retaliated against them for reporting sexual harassment. That case was settled Jan. 29.
A Meow Wolf spokeswoman declined to comment on the settlements, but said in a statement the company is improving its workplace policies and practices.
“Meow Wolf continues to deny the allegations made against it in litigation,” said spokeswoman Didi Bethurum, “and in the spirit of continual improvement and its pledge to diversity, equity and inclusion, Meow Wolf is in the process of implementing policies and practices, many of which have been in the works for some time, to benefit current and future Meow Wolf employees.
“Meow Wolf prides itself on being a great place to work and a company that is at the forefront of positive employee benefits,” Bethurum added.
Plaintiffs could not be reached for comment.
Holly Agajanian, an attorney at Hinkle Shanor LLP who represented the former Meow Wolf employees in both cases, would not confirm whether there were any nondisclosure agreements in the settlements or if they involved any payouts.
“We’re just happy that this was resolved to the satisfaction of everyone involved,” Agajanian said.
Longtime CEO and co-founder Vince Kadlubek, and Marianne Palacios, vice president of human resources, along with other Meow Wolf officials were named in the lawsuits.
Kadlubek stepped down from the CEO position in October but remains on the payroll as an adviser to the three executives who replaced him.