Private companies address sexual misconduct with speed compared to when politicians are accused

NEW YORK -- Longtime "Today" anchor Matt Lauer was fired by NBC News. Lauer is one of many high-profile people accused of sexual misconduct.

In recent months, dozens of politicians, journalists and businessmen have made headlines after allegations of sexual harassment or assault.

Some were fired, others still hold titles. While they all have various claims and allegations in common, there is one thing that separates these men.

Half no longer have a job, while the other side, politicians, are still in office.

“In both situations there usually is a process in place,” University of Colorado Denver's Barbara Paradiso said.

Paradiso deals with human resource policies at CU Denver. She said there's a big difference between the public and private sector.

“In a private corporation, you can set down a rule around what is appropriate behavior and what is inappropriate behavior and act fairly quickly because you are essentially their boss,” Paradiso said.

While most companies can hire and fire who they want, it doesn't work like that at the Capitol.

“I think it’s because the people who fire you are normally your boss,” State Rep. Matt Gray said.

Gray said there is a way to hold those in power accountable. Legislators can in fact expel one of their own.

“I think that’s the ultimate question in a lot of these investigations that we’re engaging in right now is, are we actually going to step forward and make sure that we have a safe work environment,” Gray said.

"I think part of it is just we have procedures that are set up in place that require a lot more steps, where the private companies can be a lot more nimble.”