US Labor Agency Claims SpaceX Improperly Sacked Musk Critics


A U.S. labor agency accused SpaceX of unlawfully terminating eight employees on Wednesday for circulating a letter labeling founder and CEO Elon Musk a “distraction and embarrassment.”

A regional NLRB official complained that SpaceX violated workers’ federal labor law rights to band together and advocate for better working conditions.

In June 2022, SpaceX officials received a letter about Musk’s sexually provocative tweets from 2020. Workers demanded SpaceX repudiate Musk’s comments, saying they violated the company’s diversity and workplace misconduct regulations.

SpaceX is also accused of interrogating employees about the message, criticizing them, and threatening to terminate them for similar actions.

SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.

Deborah Lawrence, one of the sacked employees, claimed in a statement released by her lawyers that SpaceX has a “toxic culture” that tolerates harassment, especially against women.

Related link: Elon Musk launched ‘Grok’ to compete with ChatGPT

“We wrote the open letter to leadership not out of malice, but because we cared about the mission and the people around us,” he stated.

The president-appointed five-member NLRB board hears cases from the general counsel.

If SpaceX does not settle, an administrative judge will hear the matter, which can be appealed to the board and subsequently to a federal appeals court. A March 5 hearing is scheduled.

When firings violate labor law, the NLRB can order reinstatement and back pay. SpaceX may face harsher fines in future board proceedings if it violates the law.

The case is the latest to accuse Musk’s enterprises of labor and employment law violations.

In November, Reuters revealed at least 600 undocumented SpaceX labor injuries, including crushed limbs, electrocution, brain injuries, and one fatality. SpaceX declined to comment on the findings.

X, the Musk-owned social networking service previously known as Twitter, was accused by the NLRB of illegally discharging an employee over postings criticizing its return-to-office policy in October. X denies guilt.

Musk’s Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has received several NLRB complaints following a union organizing push and numerous lawsuits alleging rampant race discrimination at its manufacturing. Tesla denounces discrimination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *