SpaceX sued for allegedly not hiring refugees and asylum seekers

Credit: Drive Tesla

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken legal action against SpaceX for alleged discrimination against refugees and asylum seekers in its hiring practices. The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, accuses SpaceX of wrongly restricting its hiring pool to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents by misinterpreting export control laws between 2018 and 2022.

The investigation, which began in June 2020 following a complaint from a non-U.S. citizen. Kristen Clarke. Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, emphasized that SpaceX not only failed to fairly consider refugees and asylees for employment but also actively discouraged them from seeking opportunities with the company. (via Bloomberg)

According to data provided by SpaceX, out of over 10,000 hires made in nearly a four-year period, only one individual who identified as an asylee was employed. Of note, this hire occurred months after the DOJ initiated its investigation, hinting at potential corrective action rather than a change to the company’s hiring practices.

SpaceX has not issued a public statement in response to the DOJ’s legal action. The case has been filed in the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a subdivision of the DOJ responsible for immigration-related matters.

The lawsuit’s objectives are twofold: to secure fair consideration and back pay for refugees and asylees who might have been denied employment due to discrimination and to impose civil penalties and policy changes on the company.

You can read the full complaint below.

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