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Outrage over Swedish city's 'sex and booze' test

27 Sep 2012, 15:12

Published: 27 Sep 2012 15:12 GMT+02:00

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Umeå municipality in Sweden's far north has come under fire for a partnership with PersonalPartner, a company that produces personality tests, after some employees complained that the questions were a little too probing.

“In many of them I answered ‘This has nothing to do with you,’” said one test taker, referred to as Fia, to the Kommunalarbetaren newspaper.

“It was about my sex-life, excrement, how much alcohol I drank even though I’d previously answered that I was practically a teetotaler,” she said.

The test questions, according to the paper, included such examples as:

“Are you satisfied with your sex-life? Are you disrupted by a change in your sexual desires? Is your excrement alternately loose/hard? Do you need to urinate often?”

Speaking with the Aftonbladet newspaper, Gunnar Sjölander of the Swedish Teachers' Union (Lärarförbundet) explained that the test was "mandatory" and several teachers who took the test were told they had two weeks to find a new job or face redundancy.

"If they didn't find one, they were out. And some have already left," he told the newspaper.

Umeå municipality HR director Birgitta Forsberg confirmed for Aftonbaldet that ten or so people were reassigned after taking the test.

Following revelations about the test, both the Umeå municipality and PersonalPartner was reported to the Swedish Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen).

Furthermore, the municipality announced Thursday that it had cut ties with PersonalPartner.

Story continues below…

“We’re not going to do things that are offensive. We put a stop to it immediately. We will meet with the people who have taken the test and talk with them,” Forsberg told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren (VK) newspaper.

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Your comments about this article

17:38 September 27, 2012 by Youdee
Totally disgusting.
00:16 September 28, 2012 by dizzymoe33
So wrong on so many levels. Here in the States you can't ask those kind of questions it is illegal.
08:59 October 7, 2012 by Rat bat
I think that questions about my sex life and alcohol intake are quite unreasonable ! The only people I would feel happy discussing these things with about be my own doctor, Sapo and my wife. If an ordinary organisation asked me then I would start to get creative and a little nasty with my answers.

Here are some examples of what I would say to some questions.

Q: How is your sex life ?

A: Well I am happy with it, are you happy with yours ?

Q: Do you have "normal" sex or not with your wife / girlfriend ?

A: Define normal and please tell me what type of creep wants to know so much about my sex life

Q: How exactly do you like to have sex ?

A: No comment, are you trying to gather information on me for a blackmail attempt ? Do you want me to file a report on you with SAPO or the police ?

On a more serious note (if you can get more serious than reporting someone to Sapo regarding information gathering on a person) I would like to know if those ten people who may have suffered as a result of the "personality test" have been given their old jobs back and been paid compensation ?
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