Before SpaceX can blast into Mars, it’s leadership might have a few pressing problems to solve here on Earth. The Department of Justice sued the rocket maker Thursday for discriminatory hiring practices against refugees and asylees.
The lawsuit reads that the company discouraged applications “by wrongly stating that SpaceX can only hire U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.”
DOJ alleges that, beginning in 2018, the company turned down these applicants for a wide range of jobs, from dishwashing and cooking to rocket engineering.
Elon Musk’s company previously stated that export control laws made them stick to citizens and green card holders for employees.
But the department says that’s not what the law means. They’re asking for SpaceX to backpay applicants who the Justice Department says were wrongly denied work.
This is now the second Musk-owned company entangled in a discrimination lawsuit. Twitter (now known as X) filed a lawsuit earlier this month claiming that Musk engaged in gender, age, and racial discrimination.