Former Lab Zero Games animator Jonathan Kim has claimed that owner Mike Zaimont (“Mike Z”) has “laid off everyone” who had not already quit; after allegations against Zaimont of sexual harassment and improper behavior.
As previously reported, four employees publicly stated they had left the company due to the alleged behavior of Zaimont, then a lead design director. This included allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.
The board and employees of Lab Zero Games allegedly asked Zaimont to leave the company. As he was the sole owner, this would not be a simple matter.
While Zaimont allegedly entered negotiations to leave the company and was put on administrative leave, he allegedly made unrealistic and “potentially illegal” terms. When the majority of the terms were rejected, Zaimont stated he would not leave. He then allegedly removed all members of the board, and assumed full control over Lab Zero Games.
In late August, several employees announced they left the company, and alluded to the claims. These included art producer Brian Jun, lead animator Mariel Cartwright, Senior Animator Jonathan Kim, and UI designer Brady Hartel. It should bear mentioning that some employees may have quit without discussing it publicly.
Now, Kim has made the claim that all staff have been laid off by Zaimont. While quote RTing Cartwright selling sketchbooks, Kim tweeted “FYI Mariel has to do this because last week Mike laid off everyone who didn’t quit LZ, but hasn’t agreed to a severance for them yet.”
Lab Zero Games is based in Los Angeles, California. If the claims abut the severance package is true, it should be noted that under California state law that severance packages are not mandatory [1, 2, 3]. The nature of how everyone was allegedly let go could change this however, as well as if any former employees issue a lawsuit.
Lab Zero Games has made no official statement at this time.
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