Beverage giant AmBev was ordered by a Brazilian court to pay damages to one of its salespeople who was forced by a superior to take part in meetings and parties where prostitutes were present.

The Superior Labor Court ruled that the firm must pay an indemnity of 50,000 reais ($25,000) to the employee who accused a manager of hiring prostitutes to motivate salesmen.

AmBev will have to pay its employee for "forcing him to show up at morning meetings where prostitutes were present and for subjecting him to humiliating situations with the aim of pushing for the fulfillment of sales targets," the court said in a communique.

The court upheld the finding of a regional court in the southern state of Parana.

Several witnesses whose testimony was heard during the investigation admitted that an AmBev sales manager hired prostitutes and had them attend meetings on at least 10 occasions in 2003-2004.

The plaintiff, who said that he was married and an evangelical Christian, alleged that he was tied up so that he would attend pornographic films and that on one occasion a stripper showed up in his room.

He also said that the salespeople were forced to participate in parties at country houses attended by prostitutes, who were used as prizes for the salesmen in order to improve their sales results.

In the appeal calling for the overturning of the original verdict, AmBev claimed that the damage suffered by the employee was minimal and that the value of the indemnity was "disproportionate." EFE