A Chevron recruitment form widely criticised for asking potential employees how many stillbirths or abortions they have had has been withdrawn by the resources giant, Fairfax Media understands.
Chevron issued a statement to employees on Friday afternoon saying many of questions asked on the global form "are not relevant for our local Australian employment situation" and the form would be amended.
"Our forms will be amended to ask only medical information relevant to the position. It is in our best interest to ensure our people are safe and fit for duty," the email statement read.
"We were please to hear from the workforce on this matter and encourage anyone who would like to make suggestions or comments to use [management team feedback resource]."
On Wednesday Rae* told Fairfax Media that a Chevron recruitment form she filled out questioned her about any stillbirths, abortions or children born with defects she may have had.
She said completing the form had been a "traumatic" experience.
"It was a traumatic experience filling out that form and I'm not joking," Rae said.
"I can only imagine that if someone had a stillborn, if someone has a trigger, or was going through an experience like they were asking, these questions are entirely insensitive and offensive.
After Chevron withdrew the form, Rae commended the company for listening to applicant concerns.
"As I've said previously, I think this form is completely disconnected from Chevron's actual culture, so I'm still confused as to how this form came to be approved for use in the first place, but I'm glad that they have listened to feedback and responded.
"I'm pleased to hear that the form will be revised to eliminate intrusive and inappropriate questions. I'm also relieved that no one else will be subjected to such questions in the future when applying for a job at Chevron in Australia.
"Well done to Chevron for being big enough to admit a mistake and rectifying it. I'm grateful also to the other brave people who came forward to share their stories in the Chevron recruitment process."
The form is divided into several sections while an earlier segment included an opt-out statement the section on past and present illnesses had no such option.
Within questions about a range of illnesses the form asked whether the applicant had "any discharge, lumps or pain in breasts", was "currently incapably of having children" or had "missed the last menstrual period" and asked for the date of their last period.
Slater and Gordon's industrial and employment lawyer Simon Millman said a recruitment form which asked personal questions, such as those reported in a Chevron document, would breach several discrimination and privacy laws.
Mr Millman said "intrusive and deeply personal" questions about abortions, stillborn children and pregnancy breached the disability and sex discrimination acts and the National Privacy Principles.
Under the section titled Reproductive Outcome, the medical form asks prospective employees to provide intimate personal details, not only of themselves but also of their partners, including whether they had been "sterilised".
Mr Millman said providing information about another person was in breach of the National Privacy Principles.
He said anti-discrimination law covered current and prospective employees.
Acting WA equal opportunity commissioner Allanah Lucas said the questions were not inherently discriminatory against female applicants, because it was unclear how the information would be used.
Nevertheless, Ms Lucas said she was surprised that the questions had appeared on a job application, and said she did not understand the rationale for using them.
"Of course people would be concerned if the information is used wrongly, but we don't know the context as to why (the questions) are being asked," she said.
The commission had not received any complaint about Chevron's recruitment practices, Ms Lucas added.
In contrast with other forms of workplace discrimination, Ms Lucas said it was difficult to prove that a specific candidate has been passed over for a new job on the grounds of gender or potential future pregnancies.
Chevron has been contacted for comment.