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DOJ Targets SpaceX For Allegedly Preferring To Hire U.S. Citizens

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Feb. 3, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Elon Musk’s SpaceX for allegedly preferring to hire American citizens over non-citizens.

The DOJ claims that in March 2020, a non-U.S. citizen inquiring about a technology strategy position in SpaceX was asked about his citizenship status. SpaceX “ultimately failed to hire him for the position because he is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident,” DOJ attorney Lisa Sandoval stated.

The disgruntled applicant later initially filed a complaint of discrimination with the DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) in May 29, 2020. The DOJ notified SpaceX that a complaint was filed and asked the company to fork over documents. The DOJ alleges that SpaceX later responded by providing a spreadsheet, but refused to provide “supporting documentation.”

Unhappy with the response, the DOJ then attempted to subpoena the information through administrative court. But SpaceX pushed backed, auguring the subpoena exceeding the DOJ’s IER authority. SpaceX filed a petition with a DOJ administrative court to dismiss the subpoena on grounds that it exceeded the scope of IER’s authority, but that petition was denied, and SpaceX was ordered to comply. SpaceX acknowledged the administrative judge’s order, but told the IER “that it ‘does not intend to produce any additional information in response to the administrative subpoena.’”

Last Thursday, the DOJ filed a request in federal district court “to order SpaceX to comply with an administrative subpoena for documents related to how the company hires,” CNBC reported. The DOJ wants SpaceX to comply with its subpoena within two weeks.


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