Published by the BBC, 25 August 2023
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has said it is suing Elon Musk’s SpaceX, alleging the rocket firm discriminates against refugees and asylum seekers in its hiring practices.
The DoJ says SpaceX falsely claimed that it was not allowed to hire non-US citizens.
The investigation into SpaceX by the DoJ was prompted after allegations of discrimination from a foreign worker.
The BBC has contacted SpaceX for comment.
The DoJ alleged that SpaceX “routinely discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire or consider them, because of their citizenship status” from September 2018 to May 2022.
An asylee is a person who has been granted asylum. They are authorised to work in the US, may apply for a social security card, may request permission to travel overseas, and can apply to bring family members to the country.
Elon Musk’s company said it was only allowed to hire citizens and green card holders because of “export control laws,” the DOJ said.
However, the DoJ also said that this was not correct and that these laws do not mandate such restrictions.
The jobs from which refugee and asylee applicants were allegedly excluded from were wide ranging – from rocket engineering to dish-washing and cooking.
The DoJ has asked SpaceX to look at providing backpay for those who were wrongly denied work because of this alleged discrimination.
This lawsuit is not the first time one of Mr Musk’s companies has been accused of discriminatory behaviour.
A group of former employees of the social media website formerly known as Twitter, now X, filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Mr Musk engaged in gender, age and racial discrimination.
See: Original Article