Eight former SpaceX employees have reportedly escalated their legal battle against Elon Musk and his aerospace company by filing a lawsuit in California state court, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation.

Bloomberg reports that the eight former SpaceX employees who filed the lawsuit allege that Musk “knowingly and purposefully created an unwelcome hostile work environment” through his conduct. The plaintiffs claim that Musk shared inappropriate sexual content in the workplace, including “vile sexual photographs, memes, and commentary that demeaned women and/or the LGBTQ+ community.”

Elon Musk’s Halloween costume (Taylor Hill /Getty)

As a result of Musk’s actions, some of the plaintiffs allegedly experienced harassing comments from coworkers who “mimicked Musk’s posts” from X/Twitter, further contributing to a hostile work environment. In response to these concerns, the workers collaborated on an open letter in 2022, addressing Musk’s behavior and the company’s culture. They allege that they were subsequently fired in retaliation for their activism.

The complaint suggests that Musk personally made the decision to terminate the employees, despite a human resources official’s recommendation to conduct an investigation first. According to the filing, when the official suggested an investigation, Musk replied, “I don’t care – fire them.” SpaceX has denied wrongdoing and stated that the fired employees violated company policies, maintaining that Musk was not involved in their terminations.

Prior to this lawsuit, the same employees had filed complaints with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claiming that SpaceX illegally retaliated against them. Although NLRB prosecutors agreed with the employees, SpaceX challenged the agency’s structure in January, claiming it was unconstitutional. This led to an appeals court injunction that has put the labor board case on hold.

In a separate development, the Wall Street Journal reported allegations on Tuesday that Musk made sexual advances towards women at SpaceX, including a former intern he allegedly had sex with. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell defended Musk in the article, accusing the Journal of presenting “untruths, mischaracterizations, and revisionist history,” and stating that “Elon is one of the best humans I know.”

The lawsuit also cites a video in which SpaceX executives, including Musk and Shotwell, allegedly participated in mocking and making light of sexual misconduct and banter. The complaint mentions a scene where an employee demonstrated the “correct” way to spank a coworker.

The fired employees had previously brought some of their claims to California’s Civil Rights Department, as reported by Bloomberg News in February. The agency recently issued them “right to sue” letters, clearing the way for them to bring their lawsuit. Plaintiff Tom Moline, who worked on SpaceX’s Dragon program, stated in an interview, “We need to pursue whatever avenues we can to continue advancing our claims. Even Elon, with all his wealth and power, is not above being held accountable, right?”

Read more at Bloomberg here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.