Mattress Factory places executive director on leave |

Mattress Factory places executive director on leave

Ben Schmitt

The Mattress Factory contemporary art museum in Pittsburgh announced Friday it has placed its executive director, Michael Olijnyk, on paid leave amid sexual harassment complaints.

“This pro forma action is in response to NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) charges filed against the museum by current and former employees who say they faced discrimination and retaliation after speaking up together about alleged harassment,” a statement on the museum’s website said. “The board launched an investigation as soon as it learned of the charges, and is cooperating with the NLRB in its investigation. The board will be appointing an acting director to run the museum during this time.”

Four current and former employees , all women, filed a “charge against employer” with the NLRB on Monday, alleging the Mattress Factory violated federal labor law by discriminating against employees who engaged in “protected concerted activity for mutual aid or protection,” documents show.

The women who lodged the complaint — Anna-Lena Kempen, Kathleen Urich, Nicole Hall and Kaylin Carder — claim they were confronted with hostility, intimidation and threats of losing their jobs after voicing concerns about the museum’s response to multiple reports of sexual harassment and assaults allegedly inflicted by a co-worker.

“The board is also retaining organizational consultants to engage and empower museum management and staff, to make the museum a better place to work and to ensure that the museum is delivering on its mission,” Friday’s statement said.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Ben at 412-320-7991, [email protected] or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

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