Macquarie is also accused of fostering predatory behaviour and not taking appropriate disciplinary action.
The allegations were raised in a 26-page letter by Macpherson Kelley Lawyers sent last week to Macquarie and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The culture led to a workplace defined by behaviour such as “rampant drug taking leading to reckless trading after lunches, sexist and chauvinistic behaviour including an adviser engaging in predatory behaviour towards a female staff member and Macquarie choosing not to terminate that adviser because of the amount of commission the adviser earned", the letter reads.
In an alleged incident in 2013, a stockbroker used scissors to cut off a desk assistant’s ponytail then put the hair on her desk, right in front of her.
“She was so shocked she didn’t say anything, and really only started talking about it at the Christmas party about a month later,” according to the source.
Another former employee said “everyone was laughing about it, it was just a funny story to them”.
“It was difficult to be a woman there and maintain a sense of respect. Particularly when no one had your back,” said the worker.
In a statement, Macquarie said the serious and inappropriate workplace behaviour by former un-named Macquarie staff “once again pertains to an unrelated matter being pursued by class action lawyers Macpherson Kelley”.
“The allegations made by the lawyers, which appear to be an attempt to solicit clients, lack any credible evidence or source,” said the statement.
“Importantly, we note that although this will be the fourth article on this matter, no litigation against Macquarie has commenced.”
In another incident, according to the report in Fairfax Media, a man allegedly took photos of a colleague under her desk.
The statement from Macquarie added that if Macpherson Kelley is unable to substantiate any of these assertions or show any relevance to the allegations it is pursuing, it raises real questions about the firm’s compliance with the Solicitors’ Conduct Rules.
“None of the workplace behaviour allegations raised by Fairfax involve current staff,” added the statement.
“The allegations were either never previously put to Macquarie, or those that were made were reviewed and appropriate action taken.
“Macquarie treats all allegations of inappropriate or illegal behaviour with the utmost seriousness.”
Macquarie overhauled its retail advisory business following the Enforceable Undertaking with ASIC from 2013.
This included appointing a new management team, new systems, controls and training and substantial financial investment, according to Macquarie.
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Workplace bullying, sexist conduct, upskirting, and an employee cutting off the ponytail of a fellow staffer, are just some of the allegations that have been raised against former Macquarie Bank staff.