SpaceX Blocks Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit

SpaceX Blocks Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit

Elon Musk’s rocket company won a court order to block the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) lawsuit that accused SpaceX of hiring discrimination against refugees and asylum seekers.

A district judge in Texas blocked the Justice Department from moving forward with its case on Wednesday, stating that the administrative judges assigned to anti-immigration bias cases at the DOJ were not properly appointed, Reuters reported.

In its lawsuit, which was filed in August, the DOJ claimed that SpaceX routinely discouraged refugees and asylees from applying for open positions at the company, did not consider applications submitted by refugees and asylees, and repeatedly rejected job applicants based on their citizenship status. SpaceX allegedly cited export control laws such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations for its hiring requirements since rockets are considered advanced weapons technology, according to the complaint.

SpaceX sought dismissal of the case, filing its own lawsuit that denied the allegations and claimed that the proceedings against the company are unconstitutional. The company argued that the administrative law judge overseeing the federal government’s case possesses “unconstitutional insulation from Presidential authority,” according to the complaint. Furthermore, SpaceX asserts that it is being deprived of its right to a jury trial, as the case is being heard in an administrative proceeding instead of a federal court.

The Texas judge agreed in Wednesday’s decision, arguing that the Constitution requires that the judges be appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to Reuters.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), SpaceX’s founder and CEO claimed that his company “was told repeatedly that hiring anyone who was not a permanent resident of the United States would violate international arms trafficking law, which would be a criminal offence,” Musk wrote. “This is yet another case of weaponization of the DOJ for political purposes.”

This isn’t the only case accusing SpaceX of discriminatory practices. In October, a former SpaceX employee filed a lawsuit against the company alleging that women and minorities are paid less than their white male counterparts. Another Musk-founded company, Tesla, faced its own lawsuit last year when a group of Black employees claimed they were subjected to racial discrimination at the company’s factory in California.

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