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Former SpaceX employees sue Elon Musk

News Agencies | Updated on: 13 June 2024, 13:39 IST
Elon Musk

Texas [US]: Eight former employees of Elon Musk's SpaceX sued the company and Musk on Wednesday, alleging they were "wrongfully fired" for raising concerns about "sexual harassment" and "discrimination" in the workplace, reported the New York Times.

The employees were terminated in 2022 after circulating an open letter urging SpaceX executives to condemn Musk's comments on Twitter, later renamed X, which they deemed "a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment."

According to the complaint, Musk ordered the terminations upon learning of the letter.

"Our eight brave clients stood up to him and were fired for doing so," Laurie Burgess, a lawyer representing the former SpaceX employees, said in a statement.

"We look forward to holding Musk accountable for his actions at trial." The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory damages. SpaceX has not responded to the allegations yet.

The lawsuit, filed in California state court in Los Angeles, called SpaceX's workplace an "Animal House" filled with inappropriate and sexually suggestive behaviour, the NYT reported.

Several plaintiffs said they had experienced harassment from other SpaceX employees that "mimicked Musk's posts," which created "a wildly uncomfortable hostile work environment."

The lawsuit further contends that executives at SpaceX were regularly made aware of grievances about Musk's explicit social media messages, but that the complaints were routinely 'dismissed', even after a "sexual harassment internal audit" conducted by SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell.

The New York Times reported citing an email, that Shotwell wrote to SpaceX employees following the firing of those employees, saying there was "too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism,".

The same eight employees are already pursuing charges against SpaceX with the National Labor Relations Board.


First published: 13 June 2024, 13:39 IST