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  1. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Flyover Territory
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    Quote Originally Posted by namefan View Post
    In some places it's actually illegal or highly discouraged for an employer to ask you outright if you've changed your name (the reason being is it would be an easy way to brew a discrimination lawsuit, for example an immigrant who changed his/her name to assimilate or a transgender person). What they CAN ask you legally is if any records they need to verify (e.g. work, school, criminal, etc.) are under another name (what they mean of "being known by another name" is if one or more of those records may appear under another name, not a full list of names you may have used since birth), and can penalize you if withholding the name prevents them from properly performing the background check. If the last sentence weren't true, that would imply that someone adopted or otherwise had their name changed as a child would have to reveal their birth name even if it would be of no use to an employer (on an adoption forum someone once asked this, and in such a case the consensus was that no you don't need to bring up that fact). (On the other hand, if an employer needs to know a nickname, middle name that appeared as your first name, alias you committed a crime under, etc. to check those records you'd have to bring that up, even though it didn't involve a legal name change.) Of course, if you've already earned your degree under your original name that fact probably won't be of a practical difference to you.

    ETA: After reading more of the posts, I'm talking about the actual employment application (as it would apply to jobs in general), not the licenses, etc. (where they will want documentation if not everything matches).

    ETA2: Source for the first paragraph (link broken so as to not flag the post as spam): admin (dot) mtu (dot) edu/hro/forms/whatyoucanandcantasklongversionmay05.pdf

    ETA3: In terms of what's legal/illegal to ask, any questions as to WHY a person changed their name would be verboten (they are allowed to know prior or other names only for record-checking purposes, and asking the prospective employee any details of the name change would also be a red flag in a discrimination lawsuit).

    What you say makes sense for the average citizen. I think it stands to reason, though, that they'll be wanting to verify his high school (or equivalent) records, birth certificate, etc, which will be under a different name. If he chooses to simply Anglicize his name, no one will be asking questions about why, as the answer will be obvious. I agree wholeheartedly that questions about why can be a slippery slope, but we all know they'll be asking themselves if not actually asking out loud. I'd argue that unasked questions turned to assumptions (particularly if he were to make a selection like Vandal) could potentially be more damaging to his career than the employer just asking some clarifying questions. And then there is Blade's point about the merciless razzing he'll receive from his peers - no stopping that unless you're willing to sue everyone you come across in your career.

    Lieutenant, given your age, the names you came up with make a ton of sense. Coming here for advice was a good move - the people here generally have diverse and and somewhat daring taste in names. Also, most of us are only 10-15 years removed from college (or less), and it's amazing the perspective that a small amount of time and life experience can give you. For what it's worth, I'd go to a doctor with an unpronounceable foreign name without a second thought, whereas it'd take some interesting circumstances to make me see someone with a name like Vandal
    Last edited by tk.; February 27th, 2013 at 11:31 AM.
    Tara, proud mama to a Honey Badger
    ... and a Badger in Training

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