Lawsuit alleges racism, discrimination, hostile work environment at Detroit Club

The club president is accused of calling Black patrons ‘street rats’

click to enlarge The Detroit Club in downtown Detroit. - Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling
The Detroit Club in downtown Detroit.

A Latina woman filed a lawsuit against the Detroit Club on Monday, alleging the downtown business fired her in retaliation for complaining about racial discrimination.

Maria Victoria Ferrer claims in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that her supervisor and the club’s president were “openly hostile” to Black patrons and created a hostile work environment.

She alleges her complaints were “brushed off” and that management criticized her for being “too sensitive about racial discrimination.”

According to the lawsuit, the club's president, Lynn Uralli, called a Black couple “street rats” because they did not meet the club’s dress code. One of the alleged victims, Kody Hook, overheard Uralli and called her out on a Google review, which was included as an exhibit in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Ferrer’s supervisor, Suzette Daye, disparately enforced the club’s dress code and was confrontational with Black patrons.

Ferrer was fired in April, shortly after Uralli called another Black patron a “street rat,” according to the lawsuit, filed by Jack W. Schulz, of Schulz Law PLC.

After another employee, Charles Lisee, resigned “due to the intolerable racism he witnessed,” Uralli allegedly messaged the employee and threatened his and Ferrer’s safety and professional careers.

“Charles, I am going to destroy you,” the message stated. “You have no idea what you started. By this time next year you will be fucking homeless.”

In the message, Uralli allegedly called Ferrer “a crazy bitch.”

The message was included as an exhibit in the lawsuit.

The Detroit Club didn't return Metro Times' requests for comment.

The club, at 712 Cass Ave., includes cocktail and cigar bars, dining room, spa, and upscale hotel suites.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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