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Elon Musk's tweet mentions a new DOJ lawsuit charging SpaceX of routine prejudice against refugees

August 28, 2023: On Thursday, Elon Musk’s tweet mentions a new DOJ lawsuit charging SpaceX with routine prejudice against refugees.

The lawsuit says between 2018 and 2022, SpaceX “wrongly claimed” that export control laws limited its hiring to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

The DOJ has been investigating SpaceX since June 2020, when the department’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section got an employment discrimination complaint from a non-U.S. citizen.

“Our investigation found that SpaceX failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status and imposed what amounted to a ban on their hire regardless of their qualification, in violation of federal law,” Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of DOJ, stated.

Clarke added that the DOJ’s investigation found “SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company.”

The DOJ lawsuit seeks to win “fair consideration and back pay for asylees and refugees who were deterred or denied employment at SpaceX due to the alleged discrimination,” as well as the company’s civil penalties and policy changes.

In 2021, the DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section alleged that SpaceX was stonewalling a subpoena related to its investigation and requested a judge order that SpaceX comply with its request for documents about how the company hires. SpaceX had filed a petition with a DOJ administrative tribunal to dismiss the subpoena because it exceeded the scope of IER’s authority, but that petition was denied.

IER opened its probe after a man known as Fabian Hutter complained that SpaceX discriminated against him when questioned regarding his citizenship status the previous March during a job interview for a technical strategy associate role.

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