Council member's business partner faces discrimination complaint

A restaurant owner who counts a Las Vegas city council member among his business partners is facing allegations of gender discrimination and creating a hostile work environment.

The accusations are included in a complaint filed Sept. 11 in Clark County District Court against George Harris, owner of the restaurant Mundo and Alien Tequila Company.

Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers is a minority partner in the restaurant with Harris, a former mayoral candidate.

Beers isn't mentioned in the complaint but he disclosed the connection last week during a city council meeting before voting in favor of an alcohol license for a business run by Irma Aguirre, the plaintiff in the complaint against Harris. Beers says he has about a 15 percent stake in the business and no role in the operation.

"It is too bad when people have disagreements like this, I wish it weren't the case, but I don't anticipate it will have any noticeable affect on me or me executing my duties as a city councilman," Beers said.

He also characterized the complaint as a "nuisance suit."

According to the complaint Aguirre helped Harris open Mundo in 2009 and suffered sexual harassment and workplace hostility after the two terminated a romantic relationship in 2011.

"(Aguirre) was frequently subjected to derogatory comments about women and sexually explicit comments by Mr. Harris, her direct supervisor," the complaint stated. "These sexist and sexually offensive comments were of a character and frequency that they created an illegal, hostile offensive work environment and were also indicative of management's hostile animus toward women and toleration of pervasive sexual harassment in the workplace."

The complaint states Harris terminated Aguirre from a management job that paid $80,000 annually. The complaint seeks damages in excess of $10,000. She retained an ownership stake.

Harris said he hasn't yet been served with the suit.

"I wouldn't comment on it anyway. I don't comment on nonsense," Harris said.

Margaret McLetchie, the plaintiff's attorney listed on the complaint, did not respond to a message seeking comment Monday afternoon.