Updated 9 May 2018 12:13 EDT
NEW YORK – NBC has concluded in an internal investigation that was staged last fall afterconcluded that it does not believe it a culture gives of sexual harassment in its news department. The network also said that more needs to be done to ensure that employees report complaints of misconduct and are not afraid of retaliation.
To that end, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said Wednesday that he's creating a way for employees to address such complaints to a character outside of the company.
Lauer, the former Today show host, was released in November after finding himself having an inappropriate sexual relationship with another much younger NBC employee. Three more women later complained about Lauer.
A report on the results of the investigation states that 68 people were interviewed in the investigation. The goal was to determine if the newsroom management was promptly and appropriately addressing "inappropriate workplace behavior" and if there was room for improvement in the willingness of employees to raise concerns. Respondents were identified by the investigators as "potentially" having relevant information.
She also outlined the events leading up to the investigation, saying that on November 22nd last year, a woman "reported with serious concern to someone in the HR department by email." In a later interview, the woman alleged that Lauer made several inappropriate sexual acts with her in 201
Days later, on November 28, Lauer admitted in an internal interview, "to make sexual acts with the complainant," the report said. He was fired, and within the next two weeks, NBCUniversal received information about three other women claiming that Lauer had "inappropriate sexual behavior" in the workplace in 2007, 2001 and 2000.
The report of the results, which was shared by NBC News, says:
- "We found no evidence that NBC News or Today Show leadership, News HR or others in any of the authority's positions in the News Division have any complaints about Lauer's workplace behavior before November 27, 2017. All four women who reported confirmed that they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer Current and former members of NBC News and Today Show as well as HR News, they said they never complained to Lauer about inappropriate behavior in the workplace
- "The investigation team does not believe that there is a widespread o • A systematic pattern of behavior that complies with corporate policies or violated a culture of harassment in the newsroom. "
- " A number of people interviewed said that Lauer could be coquettish, often joking, some with sexual overtones, and openly engaging in sexually-oriented skirmishes in the workplace. "
- " Most witnesses had positive words about Laurer's workplace behavior. Lauer has also been described as a very private person who has worked for decades on the Today Show as a friend as well as a professional mentor to men and women. "
- " Although the interviewed witnesses generally know the company's official channels to solve work-related issues Some of them said they were concerned about reporting inappropriate workplace behavior to News HR, including: a lack of familiarity with representatives from Human Resources of News; a fear of retribution; the belief that complaints can not be treated confidentially or not; and a lack of a private environment where problems can arise, as News HR sits in glass-walled offices among other News Division employees. Similar concerns about lack of anonymity and retaliatory fears have surfaced when complaints are reported directly to management.
The report also said the investigators were investigating a "button" in Laurer's office, Variety said in November [Lauer1945-009] Under the desk he was able to lock the office door from the inside said they were sexually molested by Lauer, Variety said: "He allowed him to welcome female employees and make inappropriate contact."
"According to the NBC Universal Equipment Team, the button is a commonly available feature in senior offices in several NBCUniversal facilities to provide an efficient way to close the door without getting up from your desk, "the NBC report says." The button releases a magnet that keeps the door open. It does not lock the door from the inside.
NBC has received some criticism for not allowing outside investigators to look into their workplace culture.
In January, in their first TV interview since leaving NBC,commented on Lauers' shots and the climate at NBC during her time there.
" I can say that I would be surprised if – if – many women did not understand that was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I think it would be surprising if someone said they did not see that. So it was p – a verbal – sexual – "she said on" CBS This Morning. "
" She just said that verbal sexual harassment was prevalent. "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O "Donnell said
" Yes, "replied Curry.
" At – at NBC at the time you were there? "O & # 39; s said Donnell.
"I do not want to cause any further pain. But no, I – you ask me a very direct question. I am an honest person. I want to tell you that it was like this. Yes.  After he was fired,.
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret over the pain that I express to others through words and words Have done acts. I'm really sorry for the people I've hurt … writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and the disappointment I left behind at home and at NBC, "Lauer said in a statement. 19659015] "Some of what is said about me is untrue or false, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed," Lauer said. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish … to repair the damage I need a lot of time and soul searching and I am determined to start this effort. It's my full time job now. "
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press has contributed to this report.