SpaceX is facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that the company pays women and minority employees less than their white and male colleagues.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by SpaceX engineer Ashley Foltz, who says she was hired at a salary of $92,000, even though men with similar or less experience were offered as much as $115,000. According to her LinkedIn, Ashley was hired in September 2022 as a propulsion engineer. She did not immediately respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment.

According to the complaint, Foltz learned about the salary discrepancies when a new California law went into effect requiring employers to include pay scale in their job postings. The salary range for her job was $95,000 to $115,000, so SpaceX gave her a raise – but only to the lowest end of the band.

The lawsuit further alleged that job titles – like “technical writer” versus “engineer 1” – are used as a way to pay women and minorities lower pay. For example, these groups “are forced to work as engineers under a different title of technical writer” and are subsequently paid less, the complaint says. Promotion rates also differ between woman and minorities and their white and male peers, it says.

This is not the first time claims of discriminatory hiring and promotion practices have been lobbed at SpaceX. In August, the U.S. Department of Justice brought a suit against the company for allegedly discriminating against asylum recipients and refugees in hiring under the guise of adhering to export control laws


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