AN apprentice was hung upside down and slapped during a savage Christmas party prank.
Ilyas Elkharraz, 23, says he was “degraded, humiliated and embarrassed” in the incident, which was filmed by his colleagues.
Video shows at least one person slapping Ilyas as others can be heard laughing in the background.
“I felt like a piece of meat about to get cut,” he told A Current Affair.
“After a week I started to get flashbacks. I got nightmares from it. It’s like I was a cow, hanging upside down.”
Ilyas moved to Australia from Morocco and worked at the shop for three years but quit after the abuse last year and has now launched a court case.
He also claims he was still a first-year apprentice carpenter because his boss stopped him from going to college, a core requirement of any Australian apprenticeship.
Ilyas claimed the business owner threatened he would lose his job if he took time off to study when he raised the issue.
Tony Carbone, from Carbone Lawyers, claimed his client could have been critically injured during the cruel prank.
“I’m thinking to myself ‘wow, this still goes on’,” he said.
“If the thing they tied around his legs were to snap or loosen and he hit his head on the ground, now you’re dealing with brain damage or quadriplegia.”
WorkSafe Victoria – a government body which oversees workplace health and safety – confirmed it was investigating the incident, which carries heavy financial penalties.
A company employee told ACA they wouldn’t be commenting because of the ongoing court case.
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