DOJ investigating SpaceX after hiring discrimination complaint

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Elon Musk's SpaceX over whether or not the corporate discriminates in opposition to non-U.S. residents in its hiring practices, in keeping with court docket paperwork filed on Thursday.

The DOJ's division of Immigrant and Employee Rights obtained a complaint of employment discrimination from a non-U.S. citizen claiming that the corporate discriminated in opposition to him based mostly on his citizenship standing.

"The charge alleges that on or about March 10, 2020, during the Charging Party's interview for the position of Technology Strategy Associate, SpaceX made inquiries about his citizenship status and ultimately failed to hire him for the position because he is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident," DOJ legal professional Lisa Sandoval wrote in a complaint filed Thursday.

SpaceX didn’t instantly reply to CNBC's request for remark. The Department of Justice declined to remark.

SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles, California.AaronP/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

The Immigrant and Employee Rights (IER) division says it notified SpaceX through e mail on June 8 that it had opened an investigation, requesting SpaceX to offer data and paperwork associated to its hiring and employment eligibility verification processes.

The complaint says SpaceX responded in August, sending the DOJ a Form I-9 spreadsheet of details about staff courting again to June 2019. But SpaceX refused the DOJ's request "to produce any Form I-9 supporting documentation, such as copies of employees' passports, driver's licenses, or Social Security cards," Sandoval wrote.

IER then obtained a subpoena on Oct. 7, however the complaint claims that SpaceX refused to provide the subpoenaed paperwork.

SpaceX filed a petition with a DOJ administrative tribunal to dismiss the subpoena on grounds that it exceeded the scope of IER's authority, however that petition was denied, and SpaceX was ordered to conform. IER says SpaceX on Dec. 11 acknowledged that the order, however informed IER "that it 'does not intend to produce any additional information in response to the administrative subpoena.'"

The DOJ's IER argues that the subpoenaed paperwork are related as a result of they present the extent to which SpaceX hires non-U.S. residents, and says it's not burdensome, though SpaceX has informed the IER that it must retrieve every doc manually.

The Department of Justice is requesting an order from the court docket to require SpaceX adjust to the subpoena inside two weeks.

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