SpaceX is facing a lawsuit filed by Ashley Foltz, a SpaceX engineer, who alleges that she was paid significantly less than her male colleagues for performing a similar job.
The lawsuit, filed as a class action suit, claims that SpaceX paid Foltz a starting salary of $92,000, while male colleagues with comparable experience received a base salary of $115,000. This alleged pay discrimination is based on gender and minority status, and it’s in violation of California’s Equal Pay Act, the lawsuit alleges. (via Bloomberg)
Foltz discovered the wage gap when a new California pay transparency law came into effect, requiring employers to disclose salary ranges in job listings. Her salary band was advertised as $95,000 to $115,000, but SpaceX only increased her pay to the minimum of that range, which was $95,000.
The lawsuit further alleges that SpaceX employs a scheme to maintain a “facially neutral pay structure” by categorizing jobs into different positions and levels. This, Foltz claims, leads to women and minorities being assigned titles like “technical writer” while performing engineering tasks, justifying lower pay. Additionally, the suit asserts that these employees are promoted at lower rates compared to their male and white counterparts.
This isn’t the first time SpaceX has faced allegations of discrimination. The company has previously been sued for age, race, and disability discrimination by former employees. In August, SpaceX was accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of discriminating against refugees and people granted political asylum.