• France's news in English
Frenchwoman sacked for refusing to change her name
Photo: AFP

Frenchwoman sacked for refusing to change her name

The Local · 14 Apr 2016, 08:14

Published: 14 Apr 2016 08:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Marion, a 27-year-old from the south western city of Toulouse, has found out the hard way that when it comes to finding a job, a name can mean everything.

The young woman had just landed a role as a trainee commercial assistant at a small firm in the area after spending three weeks working with the company as a temp.

She found the trainee position at the firm that made medical equipment with the help of France’s state job agency Pôle Emploi and it was supposed to lead into a full time role.

But then she was abruptly fired after a dispute with her boss over her first name, local newspaper La Dépêche du Midi reported.

“He wanted me to change my name from Marion to Marie, because clients could confuse with another Marion that worked in the same department,” she told the newspaper.

She was apparently sent an email asking her to find a new alias and was called in for an interview.

She was then given the ultimatum: you either call yourself Marie or you’re out.

So not wanting to be called by a name that was not hers, she was forced to leave the company, which has not been named in the reports.

The explanation was even written down on a note explaining the dismissal that was given to the Pôle Emploi.

“Problem of identity within the company. The same two names, that was unwanted by management,” read the report.

The company boss defended his actions.

"Changing names or taking on pseudonyms is a common practice in the commercial sector,” he told La Dépêche.

Story continues below…

“We are a small company and the two Marions had already lead to confusion. Clients needed to be able to distinguish between them,” he said.

Marion – the one that had been sacked – refused this explanation.

“Either the boss takes his customers for fools or it’s just a pretext because he never wanted to offer me a contract,” she said, adding that the whole point of surnames was to distinguish people with the same first names.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available