SpaceX sued by DOJ for refusing to hire asylees and refugees

SpaceX only hired U.S. nationals and green card holders between September 2018 to September 2020.

Yasmin Tinwala

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX for discriminating against asylees and refugees in hiring. SpaceX had falsely claimed in several job postings and public statements that they could only hire U.S. citizens and green card holders citing federal regulations or “export control laws” when in reality the latter impose no such hiring restrictions. 

SpaceX regularly discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire them because of their lack of U.S. citizenship which is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) stated a DOJ press release. It is to be noted that the permission to work and live in the U.S. for refugees and asylees does not expire and they can be considered and hired for a position, the same as U.S. citizens and residents under export control laws.

The lawsuit claims that SpaceX actively discouraged asylees and refugees from applying for open positions, made false statements about the number of available positions, and failed to fairly consider applications from qualified asylees and refugees at multiple points in the hiring process. Additionally, SpaceX only hired U.S. citizens and green card holders between September 2018 to September 2020. 

“Through this lawsuit, we will hold SpaceX accountable for its illegal employment practices and seek relief that allows asylees and refugees to fairly compete for job opportunities and contribute their talents to SpaceX’s workforce,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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