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US sues Elon Musk's SpaceX for alleged hiring discrimination against refugees, people seeking asylum

The US is seeking “fair consideration and back pay” for those who were barred from or denied employment at SpaceX due to the company's alleged discrimination.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick Washington Published on: August 25, 2023 7:25 IST
Elon Musk
Image Source : AP Elon Musk

Elon Musk-founded and run rocket company SpaceX was sued by the US Department of Justice on Thursday (August 24) for alleged discrimination in hiring against refugees and people seeking or granted asylum.

In a complaint filed in an administrative court within the department, it was alleged that SpaceX wrongly claimed that federal export control laws stopped it from hiring anyone except for US citizens and permanent residents. As a result, it discouraged refugees and asylum seekers and grantees from applying for jobs at the company, according to the complaint.

Export controls typically aim to protect US national security and to further national trade objectives.

They prevent the shipment of specific technologies, weapons, information, and software to specific non-US nations. However, the Justice Department noted that the term includes not only US citizens, but also permanent US residents, refugees, and those seeking or granted asylum.

The department said that SpaceX also refused to “fairly” take applications from this group of people or to hire them for consideration.

The positions in question included both ones requiring advanced degrees and others such as welders, cooks and crane operators at the company.

The US is seeking “fair consideration and back pay” for those who were barred from or denied employment at SpaceX due to the company's alleged discrimination.

SpaceX, which is based in Hawthorne, California, did not reply to a request for comment.

(With AP inputs)

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