Elon Musk and SpaceX sued by 8 former employees, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation

Miu von Furstenberg 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
Elon Musk 10th Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony
Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency

A group of engineers has filed a lawsuit against SpaceX and its founder, Elon Musk, accusing the company of illegal termination following their complaints about alleged sexual harassment and discrimination.

The eight engineers—four women and four men—claim that Musk ordered their dismissal in 2022 after they circulated a letter critiquing him and requesting the company clarify and consistently enforce its harassment policies.

Elon Musk USA - "Lola" Special VIP Screening - Westwood
LOS ANGELES – FEB 3: Elon Musk at the “Lola” Special VIP Screening at the Bruin Theater on February 3, 2024 in Westwood, CA. Photo by Carrie Nelson

“Musk knowingly and purposefully created an unwelcome hostile work environment based on his conduct of interjecting vile sexual photographs, memes, and commentary that demeaned women and the LGBTQ+ community into the workplace,” the plaintiffs stated in the complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday (Jun. 12, 2024) and initially reported by Reuters.

According to the lawsuit, female engineers faced routine harassment and sexist remarks within SpaceX's “pervasively sexist culture,” and their complaints were systematically ignored.
“To have been terminated for protesting SpaceX’s failure to take basic measures to prevent sexual harassment is patently retaliatory, wrong, and actionable,” said Anne B. Shaver, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, in a statement.

Elon Musk Maxim Hot 100 Party 2013
15 May 2013 – Hollywood, California – Elon Musk. Maxim Hot 100 Party 2013 held at Vanguard. Photo Credit: Byron Purvis/AdMedia

After reporting their concerns about their termination to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency's prosecutors issued a complaint alleging that the employees were fired illegally. SpaceX subsequently sued the NLRB, and that case remains unresolved.

This filing coincides with a new report from The Wall Street Journal, which alleges that Musk repeatedly approached female employees at SpaceX for sex and to have his children. The report mentions one woman who left SpaceX after Musk asked her to have his babies and another who Musk pursued for a sexual relationship while she was interning at the company.

Elon Musk, inventor of the Tesla Model S electric motor car arrives at the David Letterman Show
New York, NY. Elon Musk, inventor of the Tesla Model S electric motor car arrives at the David Letterman Show. Photo by Jesse Grey/PHOTOlink.net

“The untruths, mischaracterizations, and revisionist history in your email paint a completely misleading narrative,” said SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell in response to The Journal. “I continue to be amazed by what this extraordinary group of people are achieving every day even amidst all the forces acting against us. And Elon is one of the best humans I know.”

In March, SpaceX faced another lawsuit from an employee who alleged that executives ignored complaints of sexual harassment. However, this employee is not part of the current lawsuit filed on Wednesday.



Like most websites, Socialite Life uses affiliate links where available, which means we earn a little commission if you click through and buy something. Also, as Amazon Influencers, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Share This Article