10/27/2010 04:36 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Capitol Hill Club, GOP's Hangout Spot, Sued For Racial Discrimination

The Capitol Hill Club, a top hangout spot and frequent official business locale for elected Republicans and their campaign committees, is being sued for racial discrimination.

A former employee for the club filed a suit this week after having been fired in late July. The plaintiff, Kim Crawford, claims that she was passed over for raises for more than eight years. In her suit, she seeks $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages -- a fairly large sum though not an unprecedented total.

The club, known formally as the "National Republican Club of Capitol Hill," is a separate organization from the Republican National Committee. But it is the committee's next-door neighbor. And having it find its way to the center of a racial controversy is, undoubtedly, an unwanted (even if minor) headache in the election's closing week.

The defendant in the suit, Stanley Lawson, the general manager of National Republican Club, is accused of discriminatory acts not just against Crawford but against other employees as well. According to the complaint,

"Mr. Trevor Burt, a Jamaican-American, who had been serving as the banquet chef, applied for the 'Executive Chef' position... Burt was then given the title of 'Acting Executive Chef' during this interim period... Burt did not receive a competitive salary while holding the 'Acting Executive Chef' position nor seriously considered for the executive chef position."

Crawford claims that she "requested a raise and the request was denied" at around July 1, 2010. At that point, she had not received a pay increase in eight years. By contrast, several Caucasian employees "had been given substantial raises within the past 3-4 years."

"The National Republican Club and Lawson retaliated against Plaintiff by firing her on July 29, 2010, replacing her with a white male," the complaint alleges.

A call to the Capitol Hill Club was not immediately returned.