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Local professor says classroom lessons changed because of recent sexual misconduct claims

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MOLINE-- Within mere hours respected journalist Matt Lauer and longtime radio entertainer Garrison Keillor were fired after sexual misconduct claims.

"You have to understand as you interact across society, your behavior's subject to question," says Black Hawk College Professor Acie Earl.

Earl has been teaching students about ethics in the workplace for more than twenty years. He now warns his students that everything you say and do matters.

"What's a joke and fun for one may not be a joke or fun for all because you don't know the person's background," says Earl.

And the new rules don't end at 5 p.m.

"We have behavior in the workplace. Maybe we are fine, but after hours, now what happens? We like to think what's done on my own time is my own time, but that's not the case," says Earl.

In a stunning report released last year, the government says anywhere from 25-percent to 85-percent of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. And that may be the tip of the iceberg. The government report says 75-percent of all workplace harassment incidents are never reported.

"It's not an issue that's just occurring. There's a long history, unfortunately, behind this topic," says Earl.

But because of allegations against TV personalities, politicians, actors, and other high profile people, there's a new light being shed in every workplace.

"Things are always changing. Times are always changing. Culture is changing," says Earl.

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