EMPLOYEES

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As employees, you have information records feeding several systems that require your legal name, including but are not limited to: IRS, Immigration, and Health and Retirement Benefits systems. Additionally, these systems may also record other names by which you are known. VCU will utilize your legal name (regardless of your designated name of use) for all systems for which it is required to do so. It will also provide other names by which you are known by (including your name of use) if required. If you do not have a U.S. social security number or International Taxpayer Identification Number, please email myname@vcu.edu to receive further guidance.

Things to Consider When Making This Decision

Entering a name of use publically into the VCU system that is different than your legal name is a significant decision. A change of this type impacts a large number of systems and processes both at VCU and beyond. We want you to make the most informed decision possible about whether entering into a public system a name of use other than a legal name is the right decision for you.

  • Once you make this change, VCU will utilize your name of use wherever applicable. That means that this is how VCU will know you; how faculty, staff and students will search for you, and how VCU will address you in official communications, including in mail that is sent to your permanent address. Please keep in mind that employees’ information is also available to people outside of VCU through the online directory.
  • This is a VCU only change. That means while you will be known in VCU systems by your name of use, updating VCU systems does not update systems outside of VCU. You will need to make any updates to systems outside VCU directly, and some may require you to provide proof of legal name change in order to update your information. It is your responsibility to coordinate your name with all other legal documents (driver’s license, passport, etc.). Changing your name through VCU systems is not the same as going through a legal name change. Please go to The National Center for Transgender Equality Document ID Center for information if you are interested in changing your name. 
  • Your professional organizations may have a different name for you; you are responsible for informing them about your name of use, if you wish to do so. 
  • Your professional achievements may be known by multiple names and, thus may require explanation and/or integration of this information.
  • Your applications for jobs or graduate school may have a different name for you. You are responsible for informing those who will provide recommendations on your behalf and future institutions of your name of use. You should communicate clearly with individuals who may provide recommendations about your identifying information at VCU and outside VCU, as needed.
  • If you use your VCU ID as your voter ID, your VCU ID name must match the voter register. You can obtain a Virginia state ID at the Virginia DMV, if you choose to change your VCU ID and are in need of an official ID with your legal name.
  • VCU will release your legal name only when necessary or required to do so. The law requires VCU to release certain records in response to lawfully issued subpoenas, to public records requests under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and as part of required reports to certain state or federal agencies. 
    • Students: VCU will notify you if it receives a request or subpoena for records containing your identifiable information, including records of any name other than your name of use, and provide you the opportunity to object. You should familiarize yourself with VCU’s policy on student privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): https://rar.vcu.edu/records/family-educational-rights-and-privacy-act/. 
    • Employees: FOIA requires VCU to release a copy of your employment contract, if applicable, as well as “records of the name, position, job classification, official salary, or rate of pay, and records of the allowances or reimbursements for expenses paid to” the university. In addition, the Virginia employee salary database pulls data from the Virginia Department of Human Resources (DHRM) to populate its online database. Because DHRM uses employees’ legal names, your legal name will be released to the public if salary information is published by the Richmond Times Dispatch or another entity that receives data from DHRM. 
    • This means VCU will not intentionally disclose your decision to use a name different than your legal name.  However, because your name of use appears throughout VCU systems, and VCU may also retain records that display your legal name, it is likely others may find that you have more than one name. 
  • Your legal name will remain in specific records such as your tax documents, immigration/visa documents, health benefits, financial aid, and academic transcripts, so you may receive some communication from VCU that utilizes your legal name.

Employee FAQs

What is a Name of Use?
A Name of Use is a first name, different from one's legal name, by which an employee would like to be addressed.

Do I have to choose a Name of Use?
No. This is not a required field. However, we encourage everyone to complete this field. If you do not complete the name of use field, VCU will continue to use your legal first name.

My name is fine, what if I like my legal name?
That’s great! Simply put your first name as you want it displayed in the name of use field. It will be combined with your legal last name to form your full name in the system. If you leave the Name of Use field blank, then your full name will be formed using your legal first name and legal last name. If you wish to have your middle name or initials displayed, then provide a name of use to ensure your name is displayed as you wish. 

Why is VCU doing this now?
VCU wants employees to feel comfortable and safe in their work environment. VCU has been working to implement a process to enable employees and students to identify a Name of Use for several years.  We have reached a point where we have the technological capacity to do so and are able to put the systems in place in an effective and sustainable way.

What if I want to change my last name?
Link to SSA

My colleague refuses to use my Name of Use or Pronouns. What do I do?
The changes you make to eServices may not be visible to your colleagues. Consider having a conversation with people to share your name and pronouns. please contact VCU's Title IX office at tileix@vcu.edu.

My colleague refuses to use my Name or Pronouns of Use even though I updated my information and told them I had recently updated my name/gender/pronoun; what do I do?
VCU upholds the commitment to recognize everyone’s right to use the name, gender and pronouns with which they identify. We encourage you to contact your manager and ask for their guidance. Employee Relations can also be of assistance; contact them at emprel@vcu.edu. If you do not receive a response that addresses your needs and/or you believe that you are being discriminated against based on your identity, please contact VCU's Title IX office at tileix@vcu.edu."? 

My manager refuses to use my Name of Use or Pronouns. What do I do?
The changes you make to eServices may not be visible to your supervisor or colleagues. Consider having a conversation with people to share your name and pronouns. 

My manager refuses to use my Name or Pronouns of Use even though I updated my information and told them I had recently updated my name/gender/pronoun; what do I do?
VCU upholds the commitment to recognize everyone’s right to use the name, gender and pronouns with which they identify. We encourage you to contact Employee Relations at emprel@vcu.edu. If you do not receive a response that addresses your needs and/or you believe that you are being discriminated against based on your identity, please contact VCU's Title IX office at tileix@vcu.edu."?”

Can someone help me explain this to my friends and family?
The decision to use a name other than one’s legal name may be a difficult one to explain to others. Employees with state health plans have access to employee assistance programs (EAPs). Included are up to four sessions with an EAP counselor at no charge. Counselors may be able to provide guidance about explaining a name of use to family and friends. 

What do I need to tell professional organizations or other potential places of employment about my election of a Name of Use at VCU? 
It is your responsibility to communicate your decision to all necessary parties when you select a name of use other than your legal name. This includes those outside the VCU system who may not know your name of use and those within the VCU system who do not have access to your legal first name.

I completed/updated my Name of Use in eServices, but the system has not updated. How long do I have to wait?
Systems generally update within 24 - 48 hours. If you continue to have problems with updates, please email myname@vcu.edu  

What does a “directory level” name change mean?
A directory level change means that once you enter your name of use, the university will know, recognize, and refer to you by this name across all systems. For example, letters mailed to your address of record will be addressed to your name of use. Additionally, your name of use will appear in search results conducted on campus websites.

What about my email?
Once your name of use has been updated in eServices, and you have made a request to change your eID, IT will contact you to update your email address.

Can I update my eID?
You can change your eID. After your information is updated in eServices, go to eid.vcu.edu. On that site, you will find a clickable icon for generating a new eID based on your new name information.

Will my name of use be used on my tax documents?
No. Your legal name is used for all tax documentation.    

Will my name of use appear on U.S. immigration documents?
In general, U.S. immigration documents (I-20 for F-1; DS-2019 for J-1: I-797 approval for H-1B; F-1, J-1, and H-1B visa stamps, etc.) always reflect your name as it appears on the biodata page of the passport issued to you by your home country government. U.S. immigration documents may, in some cases, also reflect other names (such as name of use, married name, prior name, nickname, etc.), if you disclose them during the U.S. immigration process.

What happens to my VRS and/or other retirement accounts?
The VRS system and other retirement accounts require use of your legal name and your legal sex.

What about my health benefits?
Your health coverage records require use of your legal name and legal sex 

What about my name in the VCU health system?

What if I am both employee and student at VCU, can I have two different names of use?
No. Your eServices identity is tied to you regardless of whether you are a student, employee or both. The same information is used across all university roles.

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