FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)
"Chase was clearly pushing an LGBT agenda with these invasive survey questions, and also created an intimidating and threatening atmosphere for their employees who wondered what the 'right' answers were and how 'wrong' answers would be dealt with. Furthermore, we have evidence that Chase has lied to the public about this matter, constituting a major betrayal of trust. Therefore, we are launching a boycott and international petition drive at www.VoidChase.com to give consumers a way to object to the bank's offensive actions." — Brian Brown, NOM president —
Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today announced a boycott against JP Morgan Chase in protest of what deemed "offensive and inappropriate questions" given to employees in an annual survey. In addition to launching the boycott at VoidChase.com, NOM's president also revealed new evidence today that shows JP Morgan Chase has misled consumers and employees about the survey, which asked workers if they are an "ally of the LGBT community." After the survey was brought to light by whistleblowers and reported in several news outlets, Chase has repeatedly insisted that the survey was "voluntary and anonymous." But NOM has released a screen shot provided by a Chase employee establishing that employees had to "log in" to the Chase computer system using their unique employee ID number in order to complete the survey, allowing the megabank to learn which employees are loyal to the LGBT community.
"Asking employees whether they're allies of the gay community is a highly inappropriate question in the first place, but it is particularly offensive when the answer can be tied directly to individual employees, as is the case when someone must enter their Employee ID number to ‘log in' to complete the survey," Brown said. "And now, to top it off, we have the 'smoking gun' that shows Chase has lied about this matter to both their employees and to the public."
NOM produced a computer screenshot of Chase's internal employee publication, the "Daily Bulletin" dated March 28, 2014, urging employees to "log in and complete the 10 minute survey." This screenshot was provided by a Chase employee, who confirmed in an email that "employees were required to identify themselves with their employee Standard ID Number prior to taking the survey." This information corroborates employee reports provided by Professor Robert P. George at Mirror of Justice and by Breitbart News.
And while participation in the survey is technically voluntary, employees are subject to substantial internal pressure to participate. The employee said, "There was a big push to make sure that all employees completed the survey. About a week before the survey all employees received an email from CEO Jamie Dimon stressing the importance of completing the survey. Then, all employees in my department received an email from the head of our department emphasizing the importance of 100% participation in the survey....This was followed up by my immediate supervisor confirming with me and all my co-workers to make sure that we took the survey. So, no, this was not voluntary or anonymous."
Despite this evidence, Patricia A. Wexler, a Chase spokesperson, told several people who inquired about the matter that, "The news report is not correct. These surveys are anonymous and voluntary." Another JP Morgan Chase spokesperson, Jaclyn D'Aversa, also told the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal that the survey was "completely voluntary and anonymous."
Brown said the Chase survey potentially subjects those employees who do not answer in the "politically approved way" to discrimination and sanctions: "As one employee put it, this could be a way to create a ‘fire these people first' list."
"It's clear that Chase has lied to its employees and customers about the survey and its attempt to push the LGBT agenda. This is a major violation of trust, the central value in any banking relationship," Brown said. "We are launching an international boycott and petition drive at www.VoidChase.com to give consumers a way to object to the bank's offensive actions, demanding that they issue an apology and pledge never again to engage in this conduct."
To kick off the boycott, Brown said that he would be moving his own home mortgage, presently held with Chase, to another company. He also said that VoidChase.com and NOMblog.com had additional information about the scandal and contained news reports to show how the evidence has mounted against Chase in this matter.
Brown also noted that NOM was partnering with ActRight.com and the international advocacy organization CitizenGo to distribute the "Void Chase" petition across the globe. These partnerships give the initiative an initial reach of several million activists worldwide.
"Based on their actions to date, we expect that JP Morgan Chase will continue to try to cover up their conduct, but we are determined to hold them accountable," Brown said. "We will keep up this boycott and petition drive until JP Morgan Chase issues a formal apology for their offensive conduct and pledges never again to invade the privacy of their employees by attempting to learn their private views about LGBT issues."
Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).