Black Workers File Suit Vs. Casino

DETROIT (AP) — Fourteen current and former black workers claim they were the victims of racial discrimination in a lawsuit against MGM Grand Detroit Casino.

The recently filed lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, includes allegations that the workers faced derogatory language and were unfairly paid, demoted, fired and passed over for promotion, The Detroit News reported in a Sunday story.

The lawsuit was filed in Wayne County Circuit Court.

MGM Mirage said the allegations were inconsistent with its policies in Detroit, where it has 2,614 workers.

``We take the allegations very seriously because we have a long-standing commitment to providing a work environment where employees can succeed,'' the casino's Las Vegas parent said. Citing the ongoing lawsuit, it declined further comment.

One of the 14 named plaintiffs is Yvette Nealy, the current executive secretary for the food and beverage department.

Nealy makes $34,000 a year, despite being the only executive secretary with a college degree, while her white peers without degrees make $38,000 to $44,000, said Lynn Shecter, the Bloomfield Hills lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

Among the specific allegations in the suit:

Ursula Bradford-King, former executive secretary for the personnel department, charged that MGM considered the personnel department ``too black.''
Brenda Jackson, a former slot machine attendant, said she was fired after a gambler was overpaid by $800, but a white worker involved in the incident wasn't fired.

Vincent Maxwell, a casino host, charged that black customers aren't given the same amenities as white customers.

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