Cook Blaims His Suspension On Manager's 'Racist Tactics'
A black cook who last week was suspended for five days from his job in the College's central kitchen has charged that his supervisor discriminated against him by distorting allegations of tardiness and absenteeism.
The cook, Paul Glass, filed a grievance last Thursday against Buford M. Simpson, manager of College dining halls, after Simpson suspended Glass for repeated absences and unexplained tardiness.
In his suspension notice, Simpson cited Glass's "unsatisfactory attendence and tardiness and failure to give proper notification."
Although Glass admitted last week to two unexplained absences and six instances of tardiness since October, he said he feels these incidents do not merit a suspension.
"Simpson is a racist, and he is using racist tactics against me," Glass said. "Many times I've been out and I've presented a note of excuse, even when not necessary," he said.
Simpson refused Saturday to discuss the suspension or to respond to Glass's charges of discrimination.
John P. Shaeffer, shop steward in the central kitchen who presented the official complaint to Simpson on Glass's behalf, said last week Glass charges Simpson with both discrimination and not following University sick leave policy.
As a third-year employee, Shaeffer said, Glass has a right to three weeks of sick leave. "For a few unannounced absences, most workers would only get a verbal warning; others, like Glass, get suspended," he said.
Shaeffer said Simpson refused last week to arrange a meeting between kitchen management and Walter J. Leonard, special assistant to the president and supervisor of Harvard's affirmative action plan, to discuss Glass's suspension.
Leonard said yesterday he knows about the Glass case, and that he will "take appropriate action" if the grievance reaches him through official channels.
Official grievance procedures dictate that if Simpson passes Glass's complaint along, a committee of three must review and report on his charges.
Shaeffer said he expects Simpson to pass Glass's grievance on to Frank J. Weissbecker, director of the food services department, and Edward W. Powers, assistant general counsel for employee relations