Official Intervened In Benefits Claim

Guard Charges Young Exceed Authority

In an apparent conflict with University policy, Associate Director of Labor Relations Carolyn R. Young '76 has intervened to deny an industrial accident claim by a Harvard security guard, the guard charged this week.

The guard, Pierre R. Voss, has said he was hurt last month after falling on a flight of stairs while working a shift. He was rushed to Mt. Auburn Hospital after the injury, but the University has denied his claim for compensation for his injury.

Voss said Young told him she was personally denying his complaint. "I asked her why and she said she is not going to argue with me," Voss said.

As associate director of labor relations, Young's job is to be a liaison between the University and many of its labor unions. She also rules on appeals of grievances that unionized employees file against the management of their departments.

The denial of the Voss's claim for benefits from his July 9 fall appears to be based on a statement from another guard who was walking next to Voss at the time. He claimed in a written statement not to have witnessed the fall.


Security guard Howard Reid, who arrived at the scene immediately after the fall, said he found Voss bleeding from his elbow and immobile. "He couldn't move," Reid said at the time. "He couldn't get up, so we had to call an ambulance."

While he is appealing the University's denial of his claim to the state Department of Industrial Accidents, Voss has not been allowed back to work. He has not been suspended, but he is not being paid. Voss said Young personally had not allowed him to take the three weeks of vacation he has accrued.

Police and security officials routinely refer questions on the matter to Young. Her office said this week that she is on vacation and could not be reached. Over the past year, Young has made it her policy not to answer questions about specific Harvard employees.

Benefit Claims Manager Sandra J. Evangelous, who is charged with handling compensation complaints like Voss's, declined to answer questions about his complaint. Asked if Young, in general, had a role in claims for benefits, Evangelous said "she has no role in that."

"The general process is run exclusively by my office," Evangelous said.

But Voss said Jennifer Bonner, an assistant to Evangelous, told him that Evangelous had met both with police department administrator Brian D. Sinclair '62 and Young to discuss his claim. According to an account of the benefits claims process given by Evangelous, Voss's situation could be discussed with Sinclair or other police and security officials but not with Young, who works for the Office of Human Resources.

In May 1992, Voss publicly charged that he was discriminated against and harassed on the job by a supervisor. The charges were denied by a host of security and University officials, including Police Chief Paul E. Johnson and Manager of Operations for Security Robert J. Dowling, who suggest Voss is attempting to cover up poor performance on the job.

Young has clashed frequently with union officials in the guard unit and around the University. She has a reputation for being extraordinarily inflexible in personnel matters that come before her