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The judge says Elon Musk’s SpaceX must comply with the Justice Department’s summons for an employment investigation

The judge says Elon Musk's SpaceX must comply with the Justice Department's summons for an employment investigation

The Falcon 9 rocket is shown outside the headquarters of the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) on January 28, 2021 in Hawthorne, California.

Patrick T Fallon | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

SpaceX should be forced to comply with a subpoena from the Department of Justice as part of its investigation into whether Elon Muska company Unlawfully discriminating against foreign applicants, A judge recommended on Monday.

The judge’s report, which described “several” federal investigations into the hiring practices of the airline giant, rejected SpaceX’s argument that The form of subpoena “bypasses the government.”

Judge Michael Wilner wrote in his recommendation that the Department of Justice’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Division “has shown that its subpoena is relevant and enforceable in at least one ongoing investigation into the company.”

“Moreover, there is insufficient basis for concluding that the subpoena is exaggerated or an undue burden on SpaceX,” the report said in Federal District Court in Central California.

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If SpaceX does not file an objection by April 12, Wilner’s recommendation will be sent to the Federal District judge, who will issue a ruling and handle all other matters in the case.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the court file. The Ministry of Justice did not immediately comment.

The Equity and Reconciliation Commission, part of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, launched an investigation in May to determine whether SpaceX “engaged in a single, pattern, or practice” violation of employment discrimination based on citizenship, in violation of US law.

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The investigation was based on a complaint that “on or around March 10, 2020, while Charging Party was interviewing for the position of Technology Strategy Assistant, SpaceX made inquiries about his nationality status and ultimately failed to appoint him to that position because he is not. Permanent lawful, ”Department of Justice attorneys said in a statutory notice filed in federal court in California in January.

The memo said the ERC obtained a subpoena in October on a large number of documents from SpaceX. The company filed a petition that month to revoke the subpoena, but that request was quashed, and SpaceX was ordered to comply.

In mid-December, SpaceX acknowledged this, but told the ERC that it “does not intend to provide any additional information in response to the administrative subpoena,” according to the Department of Justice memo, which asked the Federal Court to enforce compliance with the subpoena.

In a fiery response last month, SpaceX described the investigation as “the very definition of bypassing government.”

The company protested what it described as an attempt by the Equity and Reconciliation Commission to “smooth” a “trivial” allegation of one of the applicants in the large-scale (and extensive) investigations related to the pattern or practice that the agency is now pursuing. “

Wilner disagreed on Monday. “SpaceX did not bear the burden of proving that the ERC summoning order was improperly exaggerated,” he wrote in his recommendation.

Musk, SpaceX’s billionaire CEO and TeslaIt has a long history of colliding with the government.

In 2018, The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Musk with fraud, Claiming that he misled people through a tweet that he was considering taking Tesla in private, asserting that he was getting “secured funding”.

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Musk and Tesla agreed in a settlement agreement to pay a $ 20 million fine.

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Musk The government orders shelter appeared at the place, Yelling at a Tesla earnings call about “fascist” rules.

CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

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