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Human Resources Departments At The Epicenter Of Harassment Claims

CHICAGO (CBS) -- From Matt Lauer back to Harvey Weinstein -- and many others in between -- corporate America is undergoing seismic changes.

As CBS 2's Sandra Torres reports, human resources departments are at the epicenter.

"We are seeing so many allegations come out that it's on the top of heads of human resources' minds everywhere across the country," says Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

A shared sentiment right now among human resources professionals.

Liz Summy is the President and CEO of the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago.

"You have some very high profile cases. Not every employer in the Chicago community is going to have that but no lesson is too small," says Summy.

There are multiple high profile cases against men like Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose and now Matt Lauer. All for allegations ranging from inappropriate behavior to sexual misconduct.

"So many of allegations happened in the workplace. So the people that are in charge of protecting the culture of the company making a safe environment are heads of human resources and they're thinking about it very seriously," says Challenger.

So seriously that a Challenger, Gray and Christmas survey among 150 employers shows 11 percent of companies won't hold a holiday party this year.

That's compared to 4 percent last year.

"It means they are concerned about creating a safe environment for their employees. They're concerned that holiday parties are going to be a place where inappropriate behavior happens."

A learning opportunity for those in leadership roles to help regain trust.

"Everyone is reviewing policies right now," says Challenger.

"The best thing we can do is learn from this and move forward as a culture and hopefully create better workplaces," adds Summy.

She adds some companies offer anonymous tip lines so employees can feel safe if they have to share specific incidents.

Summy suggests this may be something that organizations can implement to regain the trust of their employees.

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