Mount Vernon, WA asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Washington

Q: How do I prove a common law name change to my employer?

I live in Washington State. I have gone by my middle name now for more than 30 years. My employer requires that my birth certificate name appear on my Outlook and the program our company uses to manage clients. With my close co-workers, this doesn't matter, but there are enough people I don't work with on a regular basis that call me by my birth certificate name, even when I point out that I don't go by that. My understanding is that because I've gone by my middle name for 30 years, it constitutes a "common law" name change. Is there a way to prove this to my employer, or am I stuck unless I actually go to court?

1 Lawyer Answer
Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: In Washington state, while a common law name change based on usage is recognized, changing the name on your birth certificate requires a court order. The process is relatively inexpensive costs a few hundred dollars. For more info, go to:

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