This is chilling. What on earth could being an “ally” of the gay community have to do with whether or not you are a good bank employee? Is a Baptist who treats everyone, gay and straight, with fairness and respect, and who doesn’t bring his religious views into the workplace, an LGBT ally, even if he quietly disapproves of gay marriage? Why is Chase not asking if people consider themselves allies of African-Americans, or Hispanics, or any other minority group? Should Chase ask its employees whether or not they consider themselves allies of the Jewish community? Of Muslims? Of atheists?
What business is it of a bank’s to know the private views of its employees?
A few years ago, a friend of mine worked for a privately held company whose president/CEO sent out an employee survey asking similar questions, including polling his employees on their political and religious beliefs. The company was not political, and non-sectarian — yet the president was known for his highly conservative political and religious views. The survey scared employees to death, and, I learned, offended even religious conservatives (like my friend) who feared it would put members of his department who were political liberals and/or unbelievers in jeopardy, despite the quality of their work.
There was nothing illegal about the survey, at least as far as my friend knew, just as there’s nothing apparently illegal about the Chase survey. Still, in my friend’s case, the president’s survey of his workforce was a real blow to morale in the company, because it made those who lined up on the other side of the president afraid for their jobs, and angered at least some religious and political conservatives on staff who, like my friend (a manager there, and a religious conservative), wanted to protect his team from the prospect of reprisal.