Two former employees are suing arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf.
Tara Khozein and Gina Maciuszek, who had creative positions with the company, filed in the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe last week, where Meow Wolf is headquartered. The lawsuit accuses the corporation of gender and racial discrimination, as well as unfair pay practices.
The complaint alleges, for example, that Khozein was a part-time employee who “routinely worked more than 40 hours a week and did not receive overtime pay” above her base weekly salary of $384.61.
The employees also say they were wrongfully terminated after expressing concerns to the company.
The plaintiffs hope to have their case recognized as a class action lawsuit that would include more than 50 women who have worked at Meow Wolf since 2017.
In a statement, the law firm representing the plaintiffs said:
“In the 48 hours since filing the complaint, we have heard from numerous women who are current or former Meow Wolf employees, each with similar stories of harassment and discrimination. Many of the women expressed reluctance to share their stories, due to understandable fears of the consequences of coming forward.
“This case is not just about Gina and Tara and their experiences. It’s about the experiences of every Meow Wolf employee that has had her/his/their rights violated. These are all stories that deserve to be heard.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Meow Wolf CEO and co-founder Vince Kadlubek has denied the allegations. In May, Meow Wolf announced it would raise its minimum pay from $11.80 to $17 an hour.
CPR News has reached out to Meow Wolf via email and phone for comment, and will update this story when the company responds.
The company has already broken ground on a Denver facility. It expects to open that in 2021. Meow Wolf has also been going to communities around Denver to speak about its “Corporate Social Responsibility” plan, and opened a ride at Denver amusement park Elitch Gardens in April.