US Justice Department sues SpaceX for alleged discriminatory hiring practices

US Justice Department sues SpaceX for alleged discriminatory hiring practices

SpaceX accused of discouraging asylees, refugees from applying, refusing to hire

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US Justice Department said Thursday it filed a lawsuit against tech billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX company on allegations of discriminatory hiring practices.

"The lawsuit alleges that, from at least September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX routinely discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire or consider them, because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)," the agency said in a statement.

It said SpaceX incorrectly asserted for years that federal "export control laws" limited its hiring to US citizens and green card holders, misleadingly excluding asylees and refugees.

"Export control laws impose no such hiring restrictions," it said, adding asylees and refugees stand on equal footing with US citizens and lawful permanent residents under export control laws.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said the agency’s investigation found that SpaceX failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status.

"Our investigation also found that SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company," she said.

"Through this lawsuit, we will hold SpaceX accountable for its illegal employment practices and seek relief that allows asylees and refugees to fairly compete for job opportunities and contribute their talents to SpaceX’s workforce," she added.

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