Elon Musk Connection: Feds Confirm SpaceX’s Unlawful Dismissal of Workers Over Criticism

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The National Labor Relations Board has accused SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, of unlawfully firing eight employees for criticizing Musk’s behavior in a written letter.

The employees were let go after they authored a letter that labeled Musk as a “distraction and embarrassment.”

According to the complaint issued by a regional office of the NLRB, SpaceX violated the workers’ rights by pressuring them not to distribute the letter and subsequently firing them. 

The letter, circulated in 2022 and reviewed by The Verge, called for SpaceX to denounce Musk’s controversial social media activity, particularly his sexually suggestive posts, and demanded consistent enforcement of the company’s harassment policies.

The agency’s complaint further accused SpaceX of undermining the involved workers, threatening others who engaged in similar activities, and creating a hostile work environment. Unless a settlement is reached, the case is set to go before an administrative judge in early March.

Musk’s legal challenges and layoffs

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The National Labor Relations Board has accused SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, of unlawfully firing eight employees for criticizing Musk’s behavior in a written letter.

Paige Holland-Thielen, one of the terminated employees, expressed hope that these charges would hold SpaceX accountable for its alleged mistreatment of workers. She emphasized that while the rockets produced by SpaceX may be reusable, the employees building them are being treated as expendable.

As of now, SpaceX has not provided any immediate comment on the matter. Elon Musk, known for his uncompromising stance on company dissent, has faced similar controversies in other ventures. 

After acquiring Twitter and rebranding it as X in 2022, the platform underwent substantial layoffs. Musk and his companies, including Tesla, have also faced legal challenges over alleged violations of federal labor laws.

Notably, the US Department of Justice previously sued SpaceX in August, accusing the company of discriminatory hiring practices against refugees and individuals granted asylum. 

The lawsuit demanded back pay for those unfairly denied employment and claimed that SpaceX discouraged non-US citizens or lawful permanent residents from applying for positions.

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