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  • Tech Journalist

The US takes legal action against SpaceX, Elon Musk's firm, over its hiring policy

SpaceX, the brainchild of visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk is a pioneering force in the business of space exploration and technology. SpaceX founded with the ambitious goal of making life multi-planetary, the company has gained global attention for its cutting-edge innovations and relentless pursuit of interplanetary travel. From its facility in South Texas, SpaceX has been diligently crafting a line of Starship prototypes, each a testament to the company's commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in space.

However, amidst the inspiring progress, a shadow has been cast on the company's practices. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has made a startling claim that; Elon Musk's spacefaring rocket, SpaceX, has been engaging in discriminatory hiring practices, specifically targeting refugees and asylum seekers.

In a legal battle that has sent negativity through the tech and space industries, the DOJ has stated that SpaceX made deceptive statements regarding its hiring policies, falsely suggesting that it was prohibited from employing individuals who were not US citizens. This contentious investigation was instigated by allegations of discrimination brought forward by a foreign worker.

The allegations spanned from September 2018 to May 2022, during which the DOJ contends that SpaceX discouraged refugees and asylees from seeking employment and unfairly rejected their applications solely based on their citizenship status. 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.

SpaceX's defense were on the notion that their hands were tied due to "export control laws" that limited their ability to hire anyone other than citizens and green card holders. The DOJ, however, has refuted this claim, asserting that these laws do not impose such restrictive mandates. The positions from which these refugee and asylee applicants were reportedly excluded ranged from rocket engineering, dishwashing and cooking.

The DOJ seeks to address the injustice by urging SpaceX to provide compensation to those who were wrongfully denied employment due to these alleged discriminatory practices.

As the legal battle continues, it sheds a light on the complexities of corporate responsibility, equal opportunity, and the challenges of fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, particularly within industries that have a profound impact on shaping the future of humanity.


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