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Job applicants question inquiries about their reproductive history

Oct. 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM

PERTH, Australia, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Chevron Corp.'s job application in Australia goes too far in asking prospective employees if they've had a miscarriage or abortion, a union official said.

The multinational oil and gas company includes a medical form, titled Medical History and Physical Examination, in its employment application, which asks if pregnancy, stillbirth or sterilization is part of the applicant's history, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

"It's incredible that any employer believes they need to know reproductive systems and history of any employee ... all those questions are not relevant to employment position," Maritime Union official Matthew Elliott said.

Chevron said the form includes a notation specifying that filling out the medical history section of the form is voluntary.

Elliott said applicants still feel pressured to answer them.

The wife of a Chevron employee, identified as Terry, told ABC Local Radio in Western Australia she found the questions invasive.

"When he [Terry's husband] filled out those forms two years ago, the actual questions relating to his wife, being me, and having had a lot of trouble with stillborns, I found those questions to be very, very personal. I couldn't understand what it had to do with [my] husband's employment prospects."

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