On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against SpaceX, claiming that the space corporation of Elon Musk discriminated against refugees and asylum seekers in its recruiting procedures.
According to the lawsuit, SpaceX “wrongly claimed” that export control restrictions only allowed them to hire nationals of the United States and legal permanent residents between 2018 and 2022.
Since June 2020, when the DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section received a claim of employment discrimination from a non-citizen, the company has been the subject of an investigation by the DOJ.
Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, released a statement saying, “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.”
According to Clarke’s statement, “SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking employment opportunities at the company,” according to the DOJ’s investigation.
In response to CNBC’s request for comment regarding the DOJ case, SpaceX did not immediately react.
The DOJ lawsuit demands that SpaceX pay back “fair consideration and back pay for asylees and refugees who were deterred or denied employment at SpaceX due to the alleged discrimination,” in addition to civil fines and policy alterations.