Michael Sheetz, CNBC, August 24, 2023
The U.S. Department of Justice sued SpaceX on Thursday, alleging Elon Musk’s space company discriminated in its hiring practices against refugees and people granted asylum in the U.S.
The lawsuit says between 2018 and 2022, SpaceX “wrongly claimed” that export control laws limited its hiring to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
The DOJ has been investigating SpaceX since June 2020, when the department’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section received a complaint of employment discrimination from a non-U.S. citizen.
“Our investigation found that SpaceX failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status and imposed what amounted to a ban on their hire regardless of their qualification, in violation of federal law,” Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.
Clarke added that the DOJ’s investigation found “SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company.”
According to data SpaceX provided, the DOJ said that over a nearly four period and across more than 10,000 hires, the company “hired only one individual who was an asylee and identified as such in his application.”