Reisdent of NC – Can an employer force you to answer to a different name at the place of work? Or fire you if you refuse?

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Reisdent of NC – Can an employer force you to answer to a different name at the place of work? Or fire you if you refuse?

I have been with my company for over 4 years
and have always been in good standing with
my coworkers and the owners of the business.
I recently switched departments and my boss
has informed me that I must choose a different
first name to go by/be referred to as from now
on since I will be working with someone who
has a similar name. Naturally, I find this
absolutely ridiculous and I do not want to pick a
new name. I would like to know if my employer
can force me to do this and if I do not comply,
would this legally be grounds for termination?

Asked on December 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Do you does your treatment have an employment contract or union agreement that prohibits this action? Does your treatment constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to)? If not, then you are an "at will" employee. As as such, you can be fired for the reason that you describe or for any reason or for no reason at all, with or without notice. The fact is that a company can set the terms of work much as it sees fit. If this name change is unacceptable to you, you can either complain and/or refuse to use a new name but risk termination, or you can quit.


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