The US Justice Department has initiated legal proceedings against Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for discriminatory hiring practices against asylum seekers and refugees.
The lawsuit asserts that SpaceX, during the period spanning from September 2018 to May 2022, consistently discouraged individuals seeking asylum and refugees from applying for job positions.
The company is accused of even outright rejecting their applications, thus indicating an alleged bias influenced by their citizenship status. This purported bias is believed to violate the stipulations of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Misleading hiring information
The lawsuit asserts that SpaceX propagated misleading information regarding its hiring policies. The company advertised that it exclusively hired US citizens and lawful permanent residents.
The Justice Department, however, contends that this portrayal was both incorrect and discriminatory.
Musk’s statements under scrutiny
Elon Musk’s public statements are also under scrutiny as the lawsuit unfolds. The mention of a tweet from June 2020, where Musk indicated that a “green card” was necessary for employment at SpaceX due to the advanced nature of rockets, is cited as an example of statements that potentially perpetuated the alleged bias.
SpaceX has yet to furnish an immediate response to the allegations levied against it.
Kristen Clarke, US Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, uncovered SpaceX’s failure to objectively evaluate or employ asylum seekers and refugees due to their citizenship status.
This, she pointed out, resulted in a de facto prohibition on their employment, irrespective of their qualifications.
The lawsuit’s objective encompasses holding SpaceX accountable for its alleged discriminatory practices. Seeking redress, the suit seeks not only fair consideration and back pay for those asylum seekers and refugees who were allegedly discouraged or denied employment due to bias, but also civil penalties. Additionally, the Justice Department aims to trigger policy amendments ensuring alignment with federal non-discrimination guidelines.