Q2 Week 12: Elon Musk's Sexual Harassment and Apple's Unequal Pay for Women

Top headlines of the week

  1. Musk, SpaceX hit with sexual harassment lawsuit from 8 ex-employees
  2. Elon Musk’s Boundary-Blurring Relationships With Women at SpaceX
  3. The Toxic Culture at Tesla
  4. Apple Sued by Employees Alleging Unequal Pay for Women
  5. The Christian right is coming for divorce next

Let’s talk about Elon Musk. Head of Tesla and SpaceX, the man behind the takeover of Twitter (now “X”), courter of right-wing leaders, author of many offensive social media posts. Whatever you think about Musk as a business person, there’s a mountain of evidence that working for the man can really suck.

Just take the events of the past 10 days alone: 1) Musk and his firm SpaceX were slapped with a lawsuit filed by eight former employees who say that they were illegally fired after raising concerns about discrimination and sexual harassment faced by female staff; 2) a woman sued Musk’s brain-computer interface company Neuralink, saying she was forced to work in unsafe conditions with lab monkeys and was later fired a day after she told human resources she was pregnant; 3) The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk had sex with a former SpaceX intern (and later employee) who is more than 20 years his junior and asked another former SpaceX employee to have his babies. 

And this culture impacts the blue-collar workers, too. Former Tesla factory workers have filed complaints against the company alleging racial harassment (such as hearing non-Black leads and supervisors use racist language, including the N-word) and sexual harassment (such as women being routinely subjected to sexually charged comments and unwanted touching).

In other tech sector news, two female Apple employees have sued their employer, saying that the company pays women less money for similar work done by male employees. The filing is a proposed class-action lawsuit, and it seeks to represent over 10,000 women employed at Apple in different departments.

And read Vox’s breakdown of conservative calls to end no-fault divorce. California passed the first no-fault divorce law in 1969, and since then, people – mostly women – have been able to file for separation without needing to prove that they’ve been wronged by their partner. Rates of domestic violence began to drop, with women more empowered to leave dangerous situations. Some conservative figures are now calling for an end to no-fault divorce. It might sound like posturing, writes Anna North, but let’s think back to rhetorical attacks on Roe v. Wade. Those threats may have seemed remote – until they came true.

Weekly nonprofit news

Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments 

To commemorate Pride Month, SAVE has created some limited-edition swag. Click here for the link to their shop.

Tri-Valley Haven

There’s still plenty of time to donate a pre-filled backpack for Tri-Valley Haven’s pre-filled backpack drive. The organization is accepting donations through July 19.

The actual Backpack Distribution Event will take place on July 30 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 444 Black Avenue in Pleasanton. The organization will give out those pre-filled backpacks to children who live in Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and Sunol.

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