4 months ago

SpaceX challenges US labour board in lawsuit over alleged illegal firings



IIE Digital Desk: Elon Musk's SpaceX has initiated legal action against the US National Labor Relations Board following accusations of illegal dismissals of employees. The lawsuit comes in response to the NLRB's claim that workers were terminated by the aerospace manufacturer for allegedly criticizing CEO Elon Musk as a "distraction and embarrassment."

In a federal court filing in Brownsville, Texas, SpaceX contended that the NLRB's structure is unconstitutional and urged the suspension of the case. The company challenged the NLRB's constitutionality, stating that the board's arrangement violates the US Constitution.

The NLRB asserted that SpaceX violated federal labor laws by firing eight employees in 2022. These workers were allegedly terminated for signing a letter that accused Musk of making sexist remarks against company policies.

SpaceX's lawsuit argued that the NLRB's structure is unconstitutional because federal law permits the removal of board members and administrative judges only for cause, not at will. The legal action aims to halt the progression of the NLRB case.

This legal maneuver echoes a prior instance where SpaceX successfully suspended an administrative case by the US Department of Justice, which alleged the company's unlawful refusal to hire refugees and asylum recipients.

Previously, a federal judge in Brownsville, where the recent case was filed, halted the administrative case in November. The judge cited the US Constitution, emphasizing that administrative judges at the Justice Department must be appointed by the president, not by the attorney general, as is the current practice.

Notably, besides SpaceX, the NLRB faces a similar lawsuit from a Starbucks Corp employee contesting the unionization of her New York store. The worker filed a lawsuit in October after the NLRB denied her petition for an election to dissolve the union. However, the agency has not yet responded to this particular lawsuit.

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