Former SpaceX Intern Alleges Retaliation in Failure to Hire Her

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former SpaceX intern is suing the company, alleging she was not extended a job offer after working there for three summers in retaliation for complaining about sexual and gender harassment at the Hawthorne-based firm.

Julia CrowleyFarenga's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges discrimination, retaliation and failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation. The 26-year-old Pasadena woman seeks unspecified damages.

A SpaceX representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit, which was filed Friday.

CrowleyFarenga says she was a summer intern for SpaceX while in college in June 2015 and did additional internships during the summers of 2016 and 2017. During each summer, she worked for the propulsion department with the same manager, and by the third summer complained to human resources that he was subjecting her to gender and sexual harassment, the suit alleges.

CrowleyFarenga told human resources that the manager was coercing her to meet with him for 1 1/2 to two hours for one-on-one manager meetings that were only supposed to last 30 minutes, according to her court papers.

The manager acted “possessive and jealous'' and told CrowleyFarenga, “You are unique, I could spend the rest of my life trying to figure you out,'' the suit states. She alleges the manager also told her that a meeting they had would be better “if we were at Harry Potter World.''

CrowleyFarenga accepted a transfer to a different team, feeling she had no choice, according to the suit.

After five positive performance reviews, CrowleyFarenga's sixth and last in 2017 was negative, the suit says. When the internship term ended, CrowleyFarenga was not extended a job offer at the company upon graduation from her master's degree program, which she would have finished in the subsequent academic year, according to her court papers.

CrowleyFarenga says her new manager told her that she was not getting an offer because there were insufficient open positions. Although another SpaceX manager was optimistic she would get an employment offer in January 2018, she did not receive one and believes her complaints about gender and sexual harassment played a role, according to her complaint.

Photo: Getty Images

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