Generally, people who are discriminated against fit into a protected class and then the discrimination violates their rights because it only happens due to their membership in that group. For instance, a female employee may be discriminated against based on her gender and may be treated differently than male employees.
However, you could be discriminated against due to something that isn’t even true, just based on what others assume about you. You may not be in the protected class at all, but your employer may believe that you are and may discriminate on those grounds.
What’s in a name?
A good example of this is when discrimination is based on a name commonly associated with a religion, a country, an ethnic group or some other class. You may not be religious at all, but perhaps your parents were. They gave you a name that identifies you as part of that religion. If your employer learns your name and then refuses to hire you or fires you from your position, you may have experienced religious discrimination, even though your employer was wrong and you are not religious. That doesn’t change the fact that your rights were violated and you were treated unfairly based on what they believed about you.
What should you do next?
If this does happen, it feels unfair on many levels. Their assumptions were insulting and the discriminatory acts just added to it. You need to know about all of the legal options you have. Employees do not deserve to be treated like this and you can take action to make things right.