HR expert: Sexual harassment is an old problem. The consequences are new.

Wednesday morning, NBC was hit by the recent string of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the nation. The TODAY Show's Matt Lauer was fired after the network received disturbing allegations against him.

With all the allegations across industries, are companies handling men with power differently?

One human resources expert says the visibility of the scandals is helping shift the work environment in a better direction.

"If these allegations truly came about this week and termination happened within two days, there is some serious evidence," human resources consultant Lynda McKay said.

But for McKay, it's not new.

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She said inappropriate behavior, like what's been making headlines across the country, has been an ongoing problem.

"I think what's new now is that it's getting the publicity that really shows it can happen at any level," McKay said.

In her 25 years on the job, this is the first time McKay feels employers are really taking a stand to end sexual misconduct in the workplace.

"Because it says it won't be tolerated," McKay said. "And companies are coming forward and taking immediate action to either end the harassment or end the employment relationship of the person they have found guilty of harassment."

ALSO: Report detailing harassment allegations surfaces after NBC fires Matt Lauer

And each instance that's brought to light has more victims feeling empowered to come forward.

"So my biggest advice to anyone who is going through it is: It's not going to go away," McKay said. "You can always leave the situation, but to make a positive change, you have to elevate and be honest about what happened and how it made you feel."

The Arizona Civil Rights Act protects employees from working in a harassing or hostile work environment, no matter the size of the employer.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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