Former Remai Modern CEO 'greatly relieved' after judge stays workplace complaint against him
SASKATOON -- The former CEO and executive director of Saskatoon's Remai Modern Art Gallery says he is "greatly relieved" a complaint against him alleging workplace discrimination has been stayed.
"I have been committed to exacting standards of professionalism throughout my career and I have always supported gender equality," Gregory Burke said in a statement posted to Twitter.
On Tuesday, Justice Brenda Hildebrandt ordered a Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission complaint against him be stayed.
The complaint alleged Burke discriminated against female employees, specifically those in management.
The investigation began when a former colleague of Burke's filed a human rights complaint in October, 2015. The woman – who used to work with Burke at the Mendel Art Gallery, which became the Remai Modern – claimed she experienced gender-based harassment in the workplace.
Hildebrandt determined the investigation, that took more than two years, was delayed and “therefore an abuse of process.”
"The delay caused significant prejudice to Mr. Burke," Hildebrandt said her in her written decision at Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench.
Hildebrandt's decision also notes two similar workplace complaints were lodged with the city, but according to documents provided by his legal representative in court, Burke appears to have been cleared in those instances.
"Justice Hildebrandt confirmed that 'there were no statements containing sexual content nor any overt acts of gender or sex-based discriminated alleged in the complaint,'" Burke said in a statement shared on Twitter.
He claims the investigation into his conduct has directly impacted other employment opportunities.
In December 2018, Burke was offered a job as director of the Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand.
He accepted the position and gave his notice at the Remai, however after media reports of the complaint circulated, Burke and the gallery agreed he would step down.
In her decision, Hildebrand wrote Burke was told by two firms specializing in public relations and recruiting that he would be "effectively unemployable" as long as the complaint proceedings were ongoing.
Burke also claimed he experienced significant psychological and medical harm as a result of the delay in the proceedings.
Hildebrandt ordered Burke be removed from the complaint, meaning the Remai will face the complaint alone.