An employee claims he was asked to change his work name into something ‘more English’ because customers found it too difficult to pronounce.
Bhavesh Mistry, 40, said he felt hurt and offended over the “disrespectful” request, which he said “knocked him back a bit”.
The employee, who worked in a customer-facing role, refused to bow to pressure to westernise his name despite the negative impact it might have on his career.
He told the Metro: “I said no, it’s something I feel strongly about.
“My name is a personal thing, it’s something that’s been given to me by my parents, I think it’s disrespectful demanding I change it”.
Colleagues and even customers should make more effort to learn unusual or non-traditional names, he said, and pointed out that his name was already easy to pronounce.
“My name is only two syllables, Christopher for example is longer, yet no one has an issue saying that. It’s more about people not being prepared to make an effort”
Mistry, revealed that family members have also been asked to anglicise their names – including his uncle who had been referred to ‘Steve’ in his job.
Research has revealed that 1 in 3 people from ethnic minority backgrounds have been asked to change their name on the job.
Employment lawyers Slater + Gordon said that any such requests are go against the Equality Act 2010 which outlaws treating staff differently or less favourable based on their race.