One of the largest banks in the US has come under fire for reportedly asking all its employees in a survey if they are an “ally” to the LGBT community.
An unnamed employee at JP Morgan Chase raised serious concerns that his future at the company depended on his answer, and gave details of the survey to Professor Robert George of Princeton University.
Questions in the yearly survey included asking each worker if they are a “member of the LGBT community”, and if they are an “ally of the LGBT community, but not personally identifying as LGBT”.
The employee 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”.
Prof George, who is the head of the International Commission on Religious Freedom, shared news of the survey on his law blog “Mirror of Justice”.
He commented: “The message to all employees is perfectly clear: You are expected to fall into line with the approved and required thinking. Nothing short of assent is acceptable. Silent dissent will no longer be permitted.”
He has revealed that a second employee confirmed that the JP Morgan Chase survey did include the controversial questions.
Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), also criticised the survey.
Referring to Brendan Eich, who was forced out of his position as CEO at Mozilla over his support for traditional marriage, Brown said: “Now there is powerful new evidence that the tactics of intimidation have spread to one of the country’s largest financial institutions, JP Morgan Chase.”
He added that, “this new development at Chase of actively inquiring of every employee whether they support the LGBT community is an egregious invasion of privacy, one that has the potential to be used to punish and intimidate those who refuse to answer the question in the politically-approved way”.
The annual JP Morgan Chase survey is distributed internally to employees in order to gauge work satisfaction.
The company told one news website that it refuses to comment on internal surveys.
In April this year, the CEO of Mozilla, which operates the internet browser Firefox, stepped down after being criticised for supporting traditional marriage.
He had previously given around £600 to a Californian campaign to support marriage between one man and one woman.