- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California prison guard has filed a lawsuit alleging co-workers harassed him because of his race and religion.

Elsiddig Elhindi filed the federal lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on Dec. 31.

Elhindi is a native of Sudan and a practicing Muslim. He is represented by lawyers with the Council on American-Islam Relations.

Elhindi alleges that co-workers routinely refer to him as a terrorist and make derogatory comments about Islam and his Sudanese accent.

The guard also alleges that the harassment is retaliation for an earlier complaint he filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with similar complaints. Elhindi and CDCR settled that complaint confidentially in 2010.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to pursue Elhindi’s case even though the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined in February that CDCR may have violated the guard’s civil rights.

The 56-year-old has been a correctional officer at California State Prison-Sacramento for 12 years. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

“We cannot comment on pending litigation,” CDCR spokesman Jeffrey Callison said Monday. “However, CDCR is a very diverse organization and we expect every employee to be treated with dignity and respect.”

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