Investigating if company “engages in any pattern or practice of discrimination” against non-citizens

Elon Musk attends SATELLITE 2020 conference

Source:  Hank Berrien

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

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

Last Thursday, the DOJ filed a request with a judge “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.

The disgruntled applicant initially filed a complaint of employee discrimination with the DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) on May 29, 2020. The IER enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which has an anti-discrimination provision prohibiting citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee.

IER emailed SpaceX on June 8 that an investigation was underway and asked SpaceX to hand over information and documents related to its hiring and employment eligibility verification processes. The letter stated, “IER’s investigation is not … limited only to the specific allegations and/or claims that [the Charging Party] made in the charge summarized above. Our investigation therefore may also explore whether [SpaceX] engages in any pattern or practice of discrimination that 8 U.S.C. § 1324b prohibits.”