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SpaceX Faces Legal Battle: US Justice Department Sues Over Hiring Discrimination

In a major legal move, the U.S. Justice Department has taken legal action against SpaceX, alleging discriminatory hiring practices against asylum seekers and refugees.

SpaceX logo
SpaceX logo

Lawsuit Background: US Accuses SpaceX of Discrimination

The U.S. Justice Department sued SpaceX, the rocket and satellite company owned by Elon Musk, on Thursday, accusing the firm of discriminating against asylum seekers and refugees in its hiring process. According to the Justice Department, SpaceX systematically discouraged and refused to consider these individuals for employment from September 2018 to May 2022, based on their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Misleading Statements: SpaceX's Controversial Job Postings

In various job postings and public statements made over several years, SpaceX incorrectly stated that under export control laws, they could only hire U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, commonly known as "green card holders." This claim was contested by the Justice Department.

Musk's Online Activity: Examples of Alleged Discrimination

The lawsuit also drew attention to online posts from SpaceX's billionaire owner, Elon Musk, as evidence of "discriminatory public statements." One such post, made in June 2020 on a platform formerly known as Twitter, claimed that U.S. law mandated a green card for employment at SpaceX due to its involvement in advanced weapons technology.

SpaceX's Silence: No Immediate Comment on Lawsuit

SpaceX, caught in the legal storm, has not immediately responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit, leaving many questions unanswered.

Investigation Findings: Violation of Federal Law by SpaceX

The Justice Department's investigation found that SpaceX imposed what amounted to a hiring ban on asylum seekers and refugees, failing to consider them fairly. High-level officials and recruiters at SpaceX were accused of "actively discouraging" these individuals from seeking employment with the company.

In the lawsuit, the U.S. government seeks fair consideration and back pay for those deterred or denied employment due to the alleged discrimination. Additionally, the lawsuit demands civil penalties to be determined by the court and policy changes to ensure SpaceX's compliance with federal non-discrimination mandates in the future.