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Did SpaceX wrongfully fire an employee for being a whistleblower?

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) wants to bring space travel into the private sector. The company has received great praise its far-reaching and hopeful agenda of expanding space travel for the citizens of Earth. However, one ex-employee claims that the company is not all it's cracked up to be.

The former SpaceX engineer claims he was wrongfully terminated because he refused to falsify test results. He said that he reported the questionable practice to his superiors and was fired as a result.

SpaceX disagrees. Lawyers representing the technology company say that the man did not try to report falsified test results to his employers, and this was not why he was terminated. SpaceX lawyers describe the plaintiff as a disgruntled ex-employee who suffered from attention deficit disorder and took pharmaceutical drugs that may have interfered with his workplace behavior, which caused his colleagues to fear for their physical safety.

Was the plaintiff in this case being pressured to falsify test documents? Or, as SpaceX claims, was he the problem, and not the machinery he was testing? Only time and litigation will tell as this wrongful termination matter proceeds through court.

Fortunately, the law protects any California employee who is terminated because he or she refused to engage in immoral workplace behavior. Also, in cases where an employee brings to light questionable corporate policy to his or her employer, the employee will often be protected by whistleblower laws. If you suspect that you were wrongfully terminated for doing the right thing, you may be able to pursue justice and financial restitution in court.

Source: California Labor Law News, "California Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Targets SpaceX," Gordon Gibb, May 28, 2017

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