Disturbing video showing workers simulating sex acts on each other for failing to meet sales targets has emerged amid a $60 million class action against charity fundraiser Appco Group Australia.
Appco is a leading employer of young sales reps for some of Australia's top charities and utilities companies including Foxtel, Optus and AGL.
In the biggest class action of its kind in Australian history, 730 claimants across the country have signed on in the lawsuit, the ABC reports.
The company is accused of "sham contracting" – employing workers as independent contractors in order to avoid paying them minimum wage.
Former workers claim they were paid as little as $5 and hour and worked up to 80 hours a week.
Many of the complainants have alleged bizarre practices of workplace humiliations.
In one video that emerged recently, workers at an Adelaide office connected to the Appco group were allegedly forced to simulate sexual acts on male co-workers who failed to meet their targets.
Rory Markham, lead partner with Chamberlains Law Firm, described the video as the worst he had seen and showed something from another time.
"The video depicts a series of pseudo sexual acts performed on men by other men in a room's morning meeting which we're instructed was orchestrated by the managing director of that company," Mr Markham told the ABC's 7.30.
"It's a video that can't be explained in any employment or any business context.
"No employer in Australia could get away with that sort of behaviour. It appears to be the relics of a very long lost navy ritual that we don't see in the Australian context any more."
The vision reportedly was taken in 2014 at the company On Demand Sports that now goes by the name Visionary Direct Enterprises.
In a statement, Appco said the contracted marketing companies might have engaged in "motivational games" that crossed the line despite being well intentioned.
"Any such activities were conducted without the knowledge, permission or encouragement of Appco Australia," the statement said.
"These activities have now been banned and represent a breach of contract with Appco."
In the lawsuit set to begin next month, lawyers for the former employees will allege Appco used a complex and elaborate workplace structure to sidestep basic employment entitlements while running one of the largest marketing enterprises in Australia.
Employees in the class action were aged 22 on average, worked in the business for 44 weeks at an average of 67 hours a week, Mr Markham said.
They earned a total average commission of $387 per week, but were deducted work-related expenses between $60 and $140 a week.