SpaceX confronts labor board over firing of engineers accusing Musk of sexism

SpaceX is set to defend itself in a hearing before a U.S. labor board judge on Tuesday, facing allegations that it unlawfully terminated eight engineers who criticized CEO Elon Musk for sexist behavior in a letter to company executives.

Publication: 05.03.2024 - 16:12
SpaceX confronts labor board over firing of engineers accusing Musk of sexism
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The engineers' dismissal, claimed by the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel to violate U.S. labor laws, has sparked a legal battle with SpaceX challenging the board's proceedings on constitutional grounds in a lawsuit filed in Texas, now transferred to California.

The engineers, who have also lodged complaints of sex discrimination and retaliation with a California civil rights agency, accused Musk of sexist conduct and alleged that SpaceX fostered a discriminatory workplace environment. In response, SpaceX has denied any wrongdoing and contested the labor board's authority in its Texas-filed lawsuit, questioning the constitutionality of the board's administrative hearing process and the limits on presidential powers to remove administrative judges and board members.

The labor board's spokesperson indicated that Tuesday's hearing, presided over by Judge Sharon Steckler in Los Angeles, would primarily address procedural matters, including subpoenas and scheduling, without delving into testimonies or opening statements. If SpaceX is found to have violated labor laws, it could be ordered to reinstate the dismissed engineers with back pay and benefits. The decision, subject to appeal to the board and potentially a federal court, unfolds as companies like Starbucks, Amazon, and Trader Joe's, also grappling with union organizing efforts, echo similar constitutional challenges in their labor disputes.

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