Report: Big Bank's Employee Survey Gives an LGBT Loyalty Test
Professor Robert George of Princeton University, the head of the International Commission on Religious Freedom, claims that a major U.S. bank has asked all of its employees to reveal their support—or lack therefore—for the LGBT cause.
In a blog post at the legal site Mirror of Justice, George writes, “Brendan Eich was only the beginning. Anyone interested in understanding the most effective techniques for policing people’s thinking and enforcing improved beliefs might learn a thing or two from the experience of a friend of mine who works at one of the nation’s largest banks."
He went on to share his friend's recent message to him:
I've worked at Chase for the past 11 years. Yearly (sometimes skipping a year though) the bank will send out an Employee Survey to gauge how the employees feel about the bank and the management team they report up to. Every year that's all the questions ever related to: the bank in general and management. But this year there was a question that had many of us scratching our heads. This is a company wide survey. All lines of business have the same survey. There was a question where it said to check the boxes that were applicable to you. You could select one, more than one, or none. Here it is: Are you: 1) A person with disabilities; 2) A person with children with disabilities; 3) A person with a spouse/domestic partner with disabilities; 4) A member of the LGBT community.
I thought 4 was a little oddly placed, but oh well. It was the next option that pulled the needle off the record: 5) An ally of the LGBT community, but not personally identifying as LGBT.
What?! What kind of question was that? An "ally" of that community? What's the alternative if you don't select that option? You're not a [sic] ally of the LGBT community?
The worried senior executive told George that the survey was not anonymous—that he was required to include his employee number with his responses.
He said, “The worry among many of us is that those who didn’t select that poorly placed, irrelevant option will be placed on the ‘you can fire these people first’ list.” He compared it to being outed as “not an ally of civil rights” and a “bigot” back in the '60s.
Some years ago, a top executive at Time Warner revealed that its human resources department allowed an LGBT committee to ask each executive to display a rainbow sticker in his or her office. The threat was the same: being revealed for not being an ally of the LGBT cause, thus facing consequences. The executive said many reluctantly and fearfully allowed the sticker, just as many of these bank employees were likely forced to check the box that they are an “ally of the LGBT community,” even if they conscientiously object.