A former SpaceX intern has filed a lawsuit against the company for unlawful retaliation against her filing a sexual harassment complaint to the human resources of the company. She claims her reporting inappropriate comments made towards her by a manager has led to her being turned down for a full-time position in the lawsuit.
Julie Crowley-Farenga filed the lawsuit on August 21st, claiming that her manager at the propulsion division made comments like "I'd rather be with you at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter" and "You are unique, I could spend the rest of my life trying to figure you out" according to Business Insider sources. As of now, the company has neither made any official statements about the matter nor addressed the lawsuit.
The manager in question no longer appears to be affiliated with SpaceX anymore.
After Crowley-Farenga discussed the issue with the HR department stating that she was "very uncomfortable with her manager making such a comment without any indication from her that it may be invited."
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Later on, Crowley-Farenga met with Will Heltsley, the vice president of the propulsion division, who admitted that there was definitely "some problematic behavior happening". Heltsley assured her that he would have a talk with the said manager's male intern to figure out if this was about "Erik being Erik" or "you being you." That's when it started going downhill for Crowley-Farenga.
Crowley-Farenga also claimed that the manager would make excuses to spend more time with her, for example, she claimed that the manager overstretched their time during one-on-one meetings up to two hours while keeping it short with the male interns with about 30 minutes on each. What's more, the manager allegedly often brought up topics unrelated to work.
Reportedly, the manager went on to comment that she "talked too much with men" and that "people might get the wrong impression about the reason for her presence at the company" after seeing her talk to someone he didn't know.
After five quite positive reviews during her summer internships back in 2015, 2016, and 2017, she took it to the court seeing that she got a negative performance review from the said manager. She expressed that she had frequently asked for feedback in the meantime and was told "she was doing" fine.
After she applied for a full-time position, she was told that the position was extended to someone else with more experience. She later learned that Heltsley got in the way of her getting hired.
Julie Crowley-Farenga filed a damages lawsuit for "emotional injuries, including nervousness, humiliation, depression, anguish, embarrassment, fright, shock, pain, discomfort, fatigue, and anxiety," let's see how it will all go down.