Lawsuit Alleges SpaceX Underpays Women and Minorities

SpaceX’s Starship rocket at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas.Photo: SpaceX

In another discrimination accusation against SpaceX, the private space company is being sued by a former employee for alleged underpayment of women and minorities.

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Former SpaceX engineer Ashley Foltz filed a lawsuit at the California state court on Tuesday claiming that the company paid her less than her male colleagues with similar experience for the same position, Reuters reported. Foltz claims that she received a $92,000 annual salary while men with the same duties and qualifications received an annual salary of $115,000.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

In the complaint, Foltz states that she discovered the salary discrepancy after the California pay transparency law, which required employers to include a pay scale for job postings, came into effect. SpaceX listed jobs comparable to Foltz’s with a salary range of $95,000 to $115,000. Upon having to disclose the pay for her role, her salary was allegedly adjusted to $95,000.

Foltz also claims that SpaceX uses different job titles for the same position as a way to pay women and minorities less than their white or male counterparts, TechCrunch reported.

This is the second lawsuit filed this year against SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk, for alleged discriminatory practices. In late August, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against SpaceX for allegedly discouraging refugees and asylum seekers from applying to open positions at the company and rejecting job applicants based on their citizenship status.

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Tesla, which was also founded by Musk, faced its own lawsuit last year when a group of Black employees claimed they were subjected to racial discrimination at the company’s factory in California.

Want to know more about Elon Musk’s space venture? Check out our full coverage of SpaceX’s Starship megarocket and the SpaceX Starlink internet satellite megaconstellation. And for more spaceflight in your life, follow us on X and bookmark Gizmodo’s dedicated Spaceflight page.

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