The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) for employment discrimination following a complaint from a non-US citizen.

As per the complaint received by Justice Department’s Immigrant and Employee Rights (IER) division, the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against the charging party based on his citizenship status.

In a court filing made in the United States District Court for the central district of California, DOJ attorney Lisa Sandoval said: “Specifically, the charge alleges that on or about 10 March 2020, during the charging party’s interview for the position of technology strategy associate, SpaceX made inquiries about his citizenship status and ultimately failed to hire him for the position because he is not a US citizen or lawful permanent resident.”

The INA prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, recruitment or referral for a fee, as well as other unfair documentary practises.

This allows IER to gain access to examine evidence at the company and obtain a subpoena to support the investigation.

The subpoena required SpaceX to email IER the requested documents and relevant information. The company was notified about the investigation by email on 8 June 2020.

SpaceX repeatedly refused to comply with the administrative subpoena.

This led the US to seek redress from the court.

Recently, SpaceX announced the successful launch of a record number of 143 satellites in a single mission.