Preferred Name Policy

It is the policy of Washington University in St. Louis that faculty and staff may choose to identify themselves within the university community with a preferred first name that differs from their legal name. The Preferred Name policy provides faculty and staff with the option to make changes to their email address and display first name, as well as their first name as it appears in the Washington University Directory without pursing a legal name change. In limited circumstances, where employees wish to also alter their last name then they may do so with the approval of HR-Employee Relations.

An employee’s legal name must appear in all university documents and communications related to their employment, including (but not limited to) the employment/identity eligibility verification (Form I-9/E-Verify), Workday, Employee Self-Service, paychecks, timesheets/leave records and all payroll records.

Washington University in St. Louis will display preferred first names to the university community where feasible and appropriate and update the reports, documents, and systems designated to use preferred names. Washington University reserves the right to remove any preferred name that is deemed inappropriate. Inappropriate use of the preferred name policy (including but not limited to avoiding legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for denying use of preferred names.