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J. T. Jones wrote on April 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/08/hansen-finally-muzzled-by-obama/#comment-1269733
If they were a contractor doing the work the government contracted them to do, it would be entirely legal and relevant to refer to them as being employed by the government as they (or the company that hired them) would indeed have a government employment contract. on the other hand, It wouldn’t be legal or relevant to refer to them as a federal employee, as they are not directly employed by the government.
You haven't answered my question whether you have an employment contract with the federal agency, and whether you could make legal claims against this federal agency regarding your employment. If you work for a company that has a contract with the federal agency to provide specific services to the federal agency, your employment contract is not with the federal agency. It's with the contracting company instead. You are employed with the contracting company. Or please explain to me based on what legal document you are claiming you were employed with the federal agency.
The simple facts of the matter is NASA is footing the bill for work that you do on their behalf. That is what is called employment.
No, employment is a legal contract between two parties. But it doesn't even work in the way you think regarding the relationship between Columbia University and NASA. It's not like the relationship between contractors who provide services for NASA (e.g., IT services) and NASA, and the contractors then employ people who do this work. Instead, it's a collaboration between Columbia and NASA to the benefit of both parties in the collaboration. The Columbia scientists working at GISS aren't even necessarily paid with money coming from NASA. They are paid from federal grant money like most researchers at Columbia, coming from various federal agencies, based on proposals that are submitted by the researchers and Columbia to the federal agencies, like NSF, DOE, NOAA, and also NASA, but not necessarily NASA. There is nothing in my contract that says I was employed to provide services to NASA. My legal status and my contract as a Columbia employee is not different to any contract of any other Columbia researcher who works in any other lab on the Columbia campus.
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