A Whitehorse day care operator told a Yukon Human Rights Commission sexual harassment hearing Thursday she is still shocked and surprised at the allegations by two former workers.
Jessica Dyck and Willow Lacosse, two former employees of the Childhood Discoveries day care, say they were sexually harassed on the job and that the day care operator did nothing to protect them.
Shortly after swearing-in to give her evidence, day care director Christina Hassard broke down in tears, and broke down many times through the afternoon as she addressed the allegations against her.
The two complainants say Mike Gustus, the deputy director of the day care, made them both uncomfortable by making inappropriate sexual comments and telling dirty jokes. They say instead of doing something about it Hassard laughed along with the man's jokes and ignored their concerns.
Hassard says she suffers from anxiety and doesn't like confrontation, and told staff to try and resolve their own problems because of that. However, she also said staff did come to her to resolve problems.
Hassard told the human rights board she wasn't there, hadn't heard or didn't know about incidents the women complained about.
She blamed the complainants for having to close her business and said she doesn't know why the women would tell lies about her.
She said Gustus was a close friend, in whom she confided personal things like her marital problems and that Gustus would comfort her and often give her a hug.
Hassard also said the allegations are vague and difficult to disprove. She says many of them involve situations where only the two complainants can back each other up and there were no other witnesses to verify their claims.
The hearing continues Friday.