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NEWS: Bank of America survey asks workers about sexual orientation

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posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 05:35 PM
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Bank of America employees are being asked to identify thier sexual orientation in a 65 question survey. The question comes in the next to last question of the survey. Bank of America officials insist that the survey is strictly confidential, however the individual surveys could be tracked back to the workstation they are submitted from. Human resources professionals have commented that it is very unusual for a company the size of Bank Of America to ask these types of questions
 



www.sfgate.com
Bank of America is urging its more than 175,000 employees to fill out an online survey about job satisfaction. Question 64 asks respondents to "indicate which one of the following best describes yourself."

Clicking on the pull-down menu provides four choices:
-- Heterosexual
-- Bisexual
-- Homosexual
-- Transgendered
Human resources professionals say it's highly unusual for a company of BofA's size and stature to seek such information.

Privacy advocates say that even though BofA insists all survey results are confidential, the reality is that online forms can be traced back to individual workstations.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Bank of America management was at one time based in San Francisco. However, in what at the time was termed a merger but in reality was a hostile takeover by North Carolina based Nations Bank, alot has changed in terms of corporate culture. A few of my relatives work there and the overall attitude has changed. Its very interesting and what possible reason could they have for collecting such data? I doubt highly that its as innocent as they make it out to be.




posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 05:38 PM
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Okay, mine is south-to-north. I'm not sure how this can determine whether I'm a good worker or not...maybe some kind of Feng shui thingy or something, but anyway, there you go.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 05:47 PM
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from FredT
Its very interesting and what possible reason could they have for collecting such data? I doubt highly that its as innocent as they make it out to be.


Well, according to the bank

Tara Burke, a BofA spokeswoman, said employees are free to leave the sexual-orientation question blank if they so choose, and they are told as much in the survey.

But she said the bank hopes people will answer because it is "committed to fostering an inclusive environment."

I can also see how it might help the company to choose benefits plans to accomodate a wider range of lifestyles.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 06:11 PM
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maybe they are thinking of having more than a men's or ladies room added to their banks. My answer would be, "what do you think"??



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 06:17 PM
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Maybe they all should click transgendered? A third bathroom would really complcate logistics. It a time like this I like to turn to the clasiscs:

From the Movie Stripes:

Army Recruiter: Are Either of you Homosexual?
Harold Ramis: You mean like flaming?
Recruiter: Its a standard Question.
Ramis: No We are not homosexual but we are willing to learn
Bill Murray: Yeah would they send us someplace special?




posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

I can also see how it might help the company to choose benefits plans to accomodate a wider range of lifestyles.


Oh perhaps to discriminate as to who and how they will received their benefit plans.

See my husband have me in his job insurance but they have never asked to provide prof of relationship. Get it. They assumed that we are married man and wife.

Or perhaps they are going like Dg said for a separate restroom facility, female, male and everthing else.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 06:48 PM
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While I can only speak to the Mortgage division of BofA, I can attest to the fact that the two TOP Folks in North Texas are both Lesbians and very open about it.

I would also add that the North Texas Division was their TOP PRODUCING division, profit wise, in the nation in 2003.

I know this because I used to compete against them in that region and I hired a couple loan officers from that office.

I tend to beleive the spokeswoman who says they are trying to make sure they are "inclusive".

m...



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 07:13 PM
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I was once a branch manager for a large Canadian chartered bank. We had similar surveys and they truly were a means for the Bank to PROVE they were being inclusive. If someone is producing, their sexual orientation is irrelevant except in terms of being able to tout the corporation's PC sensitivity.

I was always amused by the question that asked if you were a member of a visible minority while promising the complete confindentiality of your answer


At least they didn't make us pee in a bottle.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Well, according to the bank

Tara Burke, a BofA spokeswoman, said employees are free to leave the sexual-orientation question blank if they so choose, and they are told as much in the survey.

But she said the bank hopes people will answer because it is "committed to fostering an inclusive environment."

I can also see how it might help the company to choose benefits plans to accomodate a wider range of lifestyles.


Nice catch! Not all employers have sinister motives in asking for this information. It's important that BoA specified the reason for the request. Had I been asked I would want to know why and for what purpose the information is going to be used. It does appear that BoA is actually seeking to improve benefits for non-traditional relationships - so kudos to BoA.


B.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 09:30 PM
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Great, BoA has an innocuous sounding reason (pretext) to selectively do what?

The questions should not have been asked. I am no gay supporter (as any who have seen posts per same) but this type of questioning has no useful purpose when it can clearly be tagged to an individual. That stuff about privacy is bunk. The computers/terminals are bank property and EVERYTHING produced or received therein is subject to any whim the bank so chooses.

This is a step backward for BoA employees. Of course they are not unionized (being upscale white collar and all) but these questions are clearly invasive.

.

.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 09:36 PM
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They skirted California law by saying its optional. But if you look at the article a person who specilizes in these things note that it was at the end not the beginning and carries a high probabilty of being answered.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks
Great, BoA has an innocuous sounding reason (pretext) to selectively do what

That stuff about privacy is bunk. The computers/terminals are bank property and EVERYTHING produced or received therein is subject to any whim the bank so chooses.

This is a step backward for BoA employees. Of course they are not unionized (being upscale white collar and all) but these questions are clearly invasive.

Well, if you're saying that the survey results can be traced to a cubicle, that's true. That's also easily solved by having a pool of anonymous terminals in a 'drop-in center'.

Remember, the employees don't have to answer that question, if they don't want to.


[edit on 15-1-2005 by jsobecky]



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 11:48 AM
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This question should be be illegal, and probably is based on the hard work of the civil rights work done in the 60's. If onequestion like this becomes normally acceptable on employment questioneers, what's next?

Are you Christian?
Are you republican?



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks
Great, BoA has an innocuous sounding reason (pretext) to selectively do what?


They're wanting to find out who's heterosexual and force them out of their corporation.

To them, there is no place in their world for straight people!

EDIT: If this were biased against the homosexual community, there would be large-scaled criticism coming from their 'leaders', but since it's biased towards heterosexuals, you'll hear nothing!


[edit on 16/1/05 by Intelearthling]



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by JoeDoaks
Great, BoA has an innocuous sounding reason (pretext) to selectively do what

That stuff about privacy is bunk. The computers/terminals are bank property and EVERYTHING produced or received therein is subject to any whim the bank so chooses.

This is a step backward for BoA employees. Of course they are not unionized (being upscale white collar and all) but these questions are clearly invasive.

Well, if you're saying that the survey results can be traced to a cubicle, that's true. That's also easily solved by having a pool of anonymous terminals in a 'drop-in center'.

Remember, the employees don't have to answer that question, if they don't want to.

Don't have to answer?

IF true then why wasn't this 'anonymous' (according to your slant) questionaire just posted on a common internal bulletin board?

Tagged is the reason- why answer from an anonymous 'pool' terminal? That doesn't get YOU checked off the list.

Questionnaires like this that have any traceability are nefarious uses of data gathering for profiling. If BoA were genuine in what the data was to be used for then anonymity would have been the top priority.

I distrust actions like this and believe they are beyond suspect. This is a 'condition of employment' even if called voluntary. Stating something as voluntary while maintaining a method of tracking is nothing more than pretextual excuses for targeting.

BoA will use the data to claim all sorts of things; from advancement of minorities to inclusiveness of the workforce. BoA will not claim, but will have, Privacy Act protected information GIVEN VOLUNTARYILY. The offices that receive this data will then be in a position with simple traceability to target individual employees.

It's a sham on its face- prima facie con job.

When anything is given 'voluntarily' and tracked it is mandatory.

ANYTHING that can be abused will be.
.

.


[edit on 16-1-2005 by JoeDoaks]



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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from JoeDoaks
Don't have to answer?

IF true then why wasn't this 'anonymous' (according to your slant) questionaire just posted on a common internal bulletin board?

Tagged is the reason- why answer from an anonymous 'pool' terminal? That doesn't get YOU checked off the list.

The anonymous slant to the questionaire was not mine, JoeDoaks.

What is the difference between not answering on a tagged workstation vs an anonymous one?

And how do we know that the questionaire was NOT just posted on a common internal bulletin board? Hmm?




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