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SpaceX Fires At Least 5 Employees Over Open Letter Condemning Elon Musk’s Behavior

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 17, 2022
Filed under , , ,
Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Loren Grush at The Verge reports that SpaceX has fired at least five employees who were involved in circulating an open letter condemning founder Elon Musk’s behavior on Twitter, calling for the company to immediately disassociate itself from what they view as Musk’s increasingly toxic brand, and demanding equal enforcement of the company’s professed “No Assholes” and “Zero Tolerance” policies regarding sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.

Grush also reports that the open letter was signed by 404 employees in the day and half before it was removed from an internal company chat board. A separate story by The Verge raises the question of whether the firings were illegal under labor laws.

You can read Grush’s original story here.

Our story, which examines the controversy as well as allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination at another Musk company, Tesla Motors, can be read here.

The Verge also obtained a copy of an email sent to employees to SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell. It is reproduced below.

The Verge quotes two employees as saying there was no undue pressure applied on co-workers to sign the letter.

However, two of those involved with writing it, speaking on the condition of anonymity, dispute that claim. They say they simply posted the letter to the Teams channels, pointing people to it and asking for support.

“There was no pressure applied to anyone to collect signatures,” one employee who helped craft the letter said, who also wanted to remain anonymous. “The open letter either stands on its own or it doesn’t.”