SpaceX has filed a lawsuit against a US agency for alleging that the company fired employees who spoke out against CEO Elon Musk.
SpaceX, a company that produces rockets and satellites, filed a lawsuit against a US labor board on Thursday in order to prevent a case against the company. The case accuses SpaceX of wrongfully terminating employees who wrote a letter to company leaders criticizing CEO Elon Musk as “a distraction and embarrassment.”
SpaceX has filed a lawsuit in Brownsville, Texas federal court, alleging that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) violated the US constitution by issuing a complaint against the company on Wednesday.
The National Labor Relations Board claims that SpaceX broke federal labor regulations when they terminated eight employees in 2022 for their participation in a letter that accused Musk of making sexist remarks that were in conflict with company policies. The case will go before an administrative judge and a five-member board selected by the US president. The board’s rulings may be challenged in a federal court.
According to SpaceX’s legal action, the structure of the NLRB is unconstitutional because federal law only permits the removal of board members and administrative judges for specific reasons, rather than at the discretion of the employer. The lawsuit aims to prevent the NLRB case from proceeding.
A representative from the NLRB refused to provide a statement.
SpaceX recently employed a comparable strategy to prevent a legal case brought by the US Department of Justice alleging that the company unlawfully rejected job applicants who were refugees or asylum seekers.
In November, a judge in Brownsville temporarily halted the administrative case until the resolution of a lawsuit brought by SpaceX. The judge stated that the US constitution dictates that administrative judges within the justice department must be appointed by the president, rather than the attorney general, as is currently the case.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is currently dealing with a comparable legal case brought by a Starbucks employee who objected to the unionization of the New York location where she is employed. In October, the employee filed a lawsuit against the board after they rejected her request for an election to disband the union. The NLRB has yet to address this particular lawsuit.