Outrage over Swedish city’s ‘sex and booze’ test

Public employees in northern Sweden were outraged this week after being forced to answer questions about their sex-life, bowel movements, and alcohol habits in a personality test given to them by the local municipality.

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.

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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.

“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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