Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
April 28, 2015
SHERRY YIHUI WENG, Plaintiff/Appellant,
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, Defendant/Respondent
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. Honorable
David L. Dowd.
Plaintiff/Appellant: Kevin J. Kasper, St. Charles, MO.
Defendant/Respondent: Mark J. Bremer, Kevin Anthony Sullivan,
St. Louis, MO.
B. Sullivan, P.J.
Yihui Weng (Appellant) appeals from the trial court's
summary judgment entered in favor of Washington University
(Respondent) on her five-count petition. We affirm.
and Procedural Background
January 3, 2010 to January 31, 2012, Appellant was employed
by Respondent in its School of Medicine, Department of
Anesthesiology, as a research biologist in the laboratory of
Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen (Dr. Chen). After the cessation of her
employment, Appellant filed a five-count petition against
Respondent alleging in various ways that she had worked
overtime without time-and-a-half pay as required by law and
she was wrongfully discharged for blowing the whistle on Dr.
Chen's actions violating public policy and the law.
Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment, which the
trial court granted. This appeal follows. Additional facts
will be adduced as necessary in the discussion of the points
first point, Appellant claims the trial court erred in
granting summary judgment to Respondent on Count I of her
petition for unpaid overtime pursuant to Missouri's
Minimum Wage Law, Sections 290.500 et seq., because
Appellant was not an exempt employee under the learned
professional exemption in that Respondent's
classification of her as exempt is irrelevant, and unresolved
material issues of fact remain as to whether Appellant
exercised independent discretion and judgment in her work.
second point, Appellant asserts the trial court erred in
granting summary judgment to Respondent on Count II of her
petition for wrongful discharge because it erroneously
determined Appellant cannot show a causal connection between
her whistleblowing and the ending of her employment, in that
she was terminated immediately after her boss learned of her
third point, Appellant maintains the trial court erred in
granting summary judgment to Respondent on Count II of her
petition for wrongful discharge because it erred in finding
Appellant cannot prove damages, in that she lost at least 22
days of income and may recover nominal damages and for
fourth point, Appellant contends the trial court erred in
granting summary judgment to Respondent on Count II of her
petition for wrongful discharge because it erred in finding
that the statutes and regulations Appellant references in her
petition do not establish a clearly mandated public policy,
in that she reported four separate violations of clearly
public policy: violations of federal grant guidelines,
research misconduct, violations of immigration law, and wage
and hour violations.
fifth point, Appellant states the trial court erred in
granting summary judgment to Respondent on Counts III, IV,
and V of her petition asserting claims, respectively, for
unpaid wages under Section 290.110, quantum meruit, and
unjust enrichment because Respondent owes Appellant unpaid
overtime, unpaid wages, and vacation pay.
Appellate review of the grant of summary judgment is de
novo. ITT Commercial Fin. Corp. v. Mid-Am. Marine
Supply Corp., 854 S.W.2d 371, 376 (Mo.banc 1993).
Summary judgment will be upheld on appeal if the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law and no genuine issues
of material fact exist. Id. at 377. The record is
reviewed in the light most favorable to the party against
whom judgment was entered, according that party all
reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the record.
Id. at 376. Facts contained in affidavits or
otherwise in support of a party's motion are accepted as
true unless contradicted by the nonmoving party's
response to the summary judgment motion. Id.
defending party may establish a right to judgment as a matter
of law by showing any one of the following: (1) facts that
negate any one of the elements of the claimant's cause of
action, (2) the non-movant, after an adequate period of
discovery, has not and will not be able to produce evidence
sufficient to allow the trier of fact to find the existence
of any one of the claimant's elements, or (3) there is no
genuine dispute as to the existence of each of the facts
necessary to support the movant's properly-pleaded
affirmative defense. Id. at 381.
the movant has established a right to judgment as a matter of
law, the non-movant must demonstrate that one or more of the
material facts asserted by the movant as not in dispute is,
in fact, genuinely disputed. Id. The non-moving
party may not rely on mere allegations and denials of the
pleadings, but must use affidavits, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, or admissions on file to demonstrate the
existence of a genuine issue for trial. Id.
claims Respondent owes her overtime pay because she was not
an exempt employee under the learned professional exemption
to the minimum wage laws.
minimum wage law states that " [n]o employer shall
employ any of his employees for a workweek longer than forty
hours unless such employee receives compensation for his
employment in excess of the hours above specified at a rate
not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at
which he is employed." Section 290.505.1. The law goes
on to state " the overtime requirements of subsection
(1) shall not apply to employees who are exempt
from federal minimum wage or overtime requirements including,
but not limited to, the exemptions or hour calculation
formulas specified in 29 U.S.C. Sections 207 and 213, and any
regulations promulgated thereunder." Section 290.505.3.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. Sections 201 et
seq., provides that " no employer shall employ any of
his employees ... for a workweek longer than forty hours
unless such employee receives compensation for his employment
in excess of the hours above specified at a rate not less
than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is
employed." 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). However, the FLSA
expressly exempts from this requirement " any employee
employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or
professional capacity." 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(1).
C.F.R. § 541.301, a federal regulation promulgated under
the FLSA, provides:
(a) To qualify for the learned professional exemption, an
employee's primary duty must be the performance of work
requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or
learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of
specialized intellectual instruction. This primary duty test
includes three elements:
(1) The employee must perform work requiring advanced
(2) The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or
(3) The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by
a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.
(b) The phrase " work requiring advanced knowledge"
means work which is predominantly intellectual in character,
and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of
discretion and judgment, as distinguished from performance of
routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work. An
employee who performs work requiring advanced knowledge
generally uses the advanced knowledge to analyze, interpret
or make deductions from varying facts or circumstances.
Advanced knowledge cannot be attained at the high school
(c) The phrase " field of science or learning"
includes the traditional professions of law, medicine,
theology, accounting, actuarial computation, engineering,
architecture, teaching, various types of physical, chemical
and biological sciences, pharmacy and other similar
occupations that have a recognized professional status as
distinguished from the mechanical arts or skilled trades
where in some instances the knowledge is of a fairly advanced
type, but is not in a field of science or learning.
(d) The phrase " customarily acquired by a prolonged
course of specialized intellectual instruction"
restricts the exemption to professions where specialized
academic training is a standard prerequisite for entrance
into the profession. The best prima facie evidence that an
employee meets this requirement is possession of the
appropriate academic degree....
29 C.F.R. § 541.301.
January 3, 2010 to January 31, 2012, Appellant was employed
as a research biologist in Dr. Chen's laboratory in the
Anesthesiology Department of Respondent's School of
Medicine. In May of 2010, Appellant was promoted to Senior
Research Technician. Appellant has a medical degree from
China, equivalent to a PhD in the United States, followed by
a medical internship and residency, and a Master of Science
degree in Biological Sciences from Southern Illinois
University at Edwardsville, specializing in cell and
molecular biology. Based on the foregoing, Appellant clearly
satisfies 29 C.F.R. § 541.301(a)(2),
having advanced knowledge in a field of science; and 29
C.F.R. § 541.301(a)(3), having advanced knowledge
customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized
also satisfies 29 C.F.R. § 541.301(a)(1), performing
work for Respondent requiring advanced knowledge. The
requirements for Appellant's position in Dr. Chen's
lab were a Master of Science degree, two years'
experience in a laboratory setting, and " an equivalent
combination of education and experience equaling seven
years." Appellant's credentials met these
requirements, including her " seven or more" years
of biology-related education. Appellant was hired by Dr. Chen
to perform molecular biology research, which is work
requiring advanced knowledge. In performing her work in Dr.
Chen's lab, Appellant " generally use[d] [her]
advanced knowledge to analyze, interpret or make deductions
from varying facts or circumstances." 29 C.F.R. §
maintains she was basically a technician following protocols
and did not exercise any creativity in her work at the lab.
As such, Appellant claims she was not truly working as a
learned professional in Dr. Chen's lab, and thus not
exempt under 29 C.F.R. § 541.301. We note that "
creativity" is not a benchmark for determining whether
Appellant worked as a learned professional in Dr. Chen's
Appellant's attempts to downplay her skills and expertise
as a research biologist working on complex embryonic stem
(ES) cell research in Dr. Chen's lab to mere technical
work following directions, we find substantial evidence in
the summary judgment record demonstrating otherwise. Although
following scientific protocols and exercising technical
proficiency were required in Appellant's work for Dr.
Chen, we do not find that such requirements and the exercise
of technical skill diminish the complexity of the work or the
advanced intellectual knowledge, training, and experience
necessary for Appellant's performance of her job. Rather,
they were in addition to the intellectual complexity of the
job. The use of manuals, guidelines, or other established
procedures containing or relating to highly complex technical
or scientific matters that can be understood or interpreted
only by those with advanced or specialized knowledge or
skills does not preclude exemption. 29 C.F.R. § 541.704.
Further, the phrase " field of science or learning"
explicitly included in 29 C.F.R. § 541.301 includes work
in the biological sciences that has a recognized professional
status as distinguished from the mechanical arts or skilled
trades. 29 C.F.R. § 541.301(c).
contends it is error to only consider her academic training
and the complexity of the duties she performed and argues she
does not meet the standard of a learned professional because
she was not able to exercise independent discretion and
judgment in her job.
noted, under 29 C.F.R. § 541.301(a), to qualify for the
learned professional exemption, an employee's primary
duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced
knowledge in a field of science or learning customarily
acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual
instruction. The regulation further defines " work
requiring advanced knowledge" as work that is
predominantly intellectual in character and that requires the
" consistent exercise of discretion and judgment,"
as distinguished from performance of routine mental, manual,
mechanical or physical work. 29 C.F.R. § 541.301(b).
This type of work generally requires use of the
employee's advanced knowledge to analyze,
interpret or make deductions from varying facts or
summary judgment record is replete with examples
demonstrating the discretion and judgment Appellant exercised
in her work in the lab.
skill in performing molecular biology research was utilized
in Dr. Chen's lab to conduct ES cell research to discover
what causes human beings to itch, particularly in connection
with the administration of anesthesia. In furtherance of
making that discovery, Appellant experimented with mice.
Viewed generally, the research " experiment" sought
to inject mutated mouse DNA into mouse ES cells, multiply
those cells in a petri dish, then inject the mutated ES cells
into a live mouse, all in an attempt to breed the mouse and
have its offspring maintain the mutated DNA.
to the research project was Appellant's creation and use
of knock-out mice. A knockout mouse is a laboratory mouse in
which researchers have inactivated, or " knocked
out," an existing gene by replacing it or disrupting it
with an artificial piece of DNA. The loss of gene activity
often causes changes in a mouse's biochemical
characteristics. Knocking out the activity of a gene provides
valuable clues about what that gene normally does. Humans
share many genes with mice. Consequently, observing the
characteristics of knock-out mice gives researchers
information that can be used to better understand how a
similar gene may cause physical reactions or behavior in
humans, such as the itching caused by anesthesia.
managed the mice colony; independently weaned, kept,
sacrificed and separated mice; and assured that all of the
relevant protocols and requirements were followed. Appellant
made decisions and deductions based on observation, analysis
and interpretation in conducting her research. She monitored
data to assure consistent quality by recording it and
analyzing it. She compared and evaluated DNA markers by
looking at bands in order to determine if she had correct
used a technique called a " GRPR conditional
knock-out targeting vector," which showed " where
to detect the gene, where to amplify the fragments of the DNA
to confirm if the culture DNA have been successfully
electroporated into the ES cells," and "
which fragment is the one to amplify in relation to the
protocol." In using the GRPR conditional knock-out
targeting vector, Appellant interpreted images with bands and
smears to determine and confirm that she had
isolating cells through visual selection, Appellant would
analyze them with the polymerase chain reaction
(PCR) machine to determine if the clone was
positive and to amplify the DNA so it could be run on the gel
to be visible.
Appellant stated she independently performed the steps of her
research duties, which required the exercise of her judgment
in selecting, screening, picking, isolating, and splitting
cells. She exercised discretion in these steps and took the
initiative to modify, optimize, and follow a protocol, and
did it on her own and without supervision.
the foregoing undisputed facts, as attested to by Appellant
and supported by the summary judgment record, are sufficient
to demonstrate she consistently worked with discretion and
exercised judgment in performing her work in Dr. Chen's
lab. There are many more facts in the record demonstrating
Appellant's exercise of judgment and discretion in her
work, the complexity of which are beyond the understanding of
anyone without an advanced scientific background. However,
one thing is certain: Appellant's work required the
constant application of advanced knowledge acquired by a
prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction, and
it required the exercise of her discretion and judgment as
well. As such, from January 3, 2010 to January 31, 2012,
Appellant was employed by Respondent as an employee exempt
from the overtime pay requirements of FLSA and the Missouri
minimum wage law as a learned professional under 29 C.F.R.
§ 541.301. Point I is denied.
II, III and IV -- Whistleblower Wrongful Discharge Causation,
Damages, and Public Policy Violations
trial court found Respondent was entitled to judgment as a
matter of law on Appellant's wrongful discharge claim
based on lack of causation, lack of damages, and lack of
whistleblowing. In her second, third, and fourth points,
Appellant challenges those findings, respectively. Appellant
asserts her discharge immediately after she complained of Dr.
Chen's violations establishes a causal connection between
her discharge and her whistleblowing; she sustained damages
from her discharge in that she lost at least 22 days of
income, suffered emotional distress and may
recover nominal damages; and she reported four separate
violations of clearly mandated public policy by Dr. Chen,
to-wit: a violation of federal grant guidelines, research
misconduct, a violation of immigration law, and a violation
of wage and hour law, to support her whistleblower theory.
Missouri, employees who have no contract for a certain term
of employment are employees-at-will. Brenneke v.
Dep't of Mo., Veterans of Foreign Wars of U.S. of
Am., 984 S.W.2d 134, 137 (Mo.App. W.D. 1998). An
employee-at-will generally has no right to sue for wrongful
discharge even if the employee was terminated without cause.
Id. However, limited public policy exceptions have
been carved out for wrongful discharge claims when the
employer's act of termination is in furtherance of a
violation of a statute, regulation, or constitutional
provision. See Lynch v. Blanke Baer & Bowey Krimko,
Inc., 901 S.W.2d 147, 150 (Mo.App. E.D. 1995).
the four recognized public policy exceptions, a wrongful
discharge action can be brought by an employee-at-will
who is terminated for: (1) refusing to perform an illegal
act; (2) reporting violations of law or public policy to
superiors or public authorities; (3) participating in acts
encouraged by public policy, such as jury duty, seeking
public office, or joining a labor union; or (4) filing a
workers' compensation claim. Brenneke, 984 S.W.2d at 138.
instant case, Appellant claims she was terminated under the
second exception for reporting Dr. Chen's violations of
law and public policy to Respondent. A public-policy
exception to the employment-at-will doctrine provides that an
employer may be liable for damages if the employer terminates
an at-will employee for reporting wrongdoing or violations of
law to superiors or public authorities. Fleshner v.
Pepose Vision Inst., P.C., 304 S.W.3d 81, 92 (Mo.banc
2010). The employee's " whistleblowing" need
not be the exclusive cause of termination, but only a
contributing factor. Id. at 94-95.
order to properly plead a claim of wrongful discharge in
violation of public policy under Missouri law, a plaintiff
must allege (1) she reported a violation of the law or a
well-established and clear mandate of public policy to a
superior or public authority; (2) the defendant terminated
her employment; and (3) there is a causal connection between
her discharge and her report. Keveney v. Missouri
Military Academy, 304 S.W.3d 98, 103 (Mo.banc 2010);
Custom Hardware Eng'g & Consulting, Inc. v.
Dowell, 2011 WL 1743662, at *9 (E.D. Mo. May 5, 2011);
Cannon v. SSM Health Care, 2014 WL 3600405, at *4
(E.D. Mo. July 22, 2014).
submissible whistleblower claim, the plaintiff "
establishes that [she] reported a violation of law or
'well-established and clearly mandated public policy'
to [her] supervisors or to legal authorities, that the
employer then discharged [her], and that there is a direct
causal connection between the protected activity (the
whistleblowing) and the discharge." Holmes v. Kansas
City Missouri Bd. of Police Com'rs ex rel. Its
Members, 364 S.W.3d 615, 624 (Mo.App. W.D. 2012),
quoting Bennartz v. City of Columbia, 300 S.W.3d
251, 257 (Mo.App. W.D. 2009).
for Appellant's wrongful discharge claim to have merit,
she must have reported misconduct by Dr. Chen and then, as a
result, been fired. The following facts were adduced in the
summary judgment record with regard to the chain of events
leading up to and surrounding Appellant's discharge from
her employment in Dr. Chen's lab.
November 7, 2011, Appellant arrived at the lab at 9:10 a.m.,
which was 10 minutes late. Dr. Chen had recently reminded his
research assistants that they needed to adhere to the 9:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule, because some were deviating from
the schedule. On November 7, upon her late arrival, Dr. Chen
told Appellant she needed to be in the lab by 9:00 a.m.
Appellant argued with Dr. Chen that her working hours should
be more flexible because she was exempt, as noted in the
letter agreement employing her as Dr. Chen's Research
Assistant. After being unable to come to a
mutually satisfactory compromise on Appellant's working
hours, Appellant and Dr. Chen agreed on November 7, 2011,
that Appellant's employment in his lab would end
effective January 31, 2012. Appellant also told Dr. Chen
this discussion she wanted to take 22 days of accrued
vacation time prior to the end of her employment on January
first made complaints about Dr. Chen on November 9, 2011, two
days after she and he agreed upon her January 31, 2012
termination date, when she met with Lanelle Coleman (Coleman)
of Human Resources. At this meeting, Appellant complained to
Coleman that Dr. Chen was treating the end of her employment
as a quit, when Appellant believed she was being
constructively forced to leave because as an exempt employee,
she should have working hours more flexible than from 9:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, but Dr. Chen would not agree to
December 1, 2011, Appellant met with Legail Chandler
(Chandler), the Director of Human Resources, and made the
allegations asserted in her petition in support of her
wrongful discharge claim that Dr. Chen was violating federal
grant guidelines by having Appellant do work for his
brother's lab at another university, was violating
immigration law by employing illegal aliens, was violating
wage and hour laws by having employees work overtime without
commensurate pay, and was falsifying his research.
the weekend of December 4-5, 2011, Appellant failed to come
into the lab to select and freeze cells, which necessitated
another researcher, upon discovering Appellant's failure,
to step in to save the cells, which in turn led Dr. Chen to
transfer Appellant's embryonic stem cell work to another
researcher to " rescue" the cells and avoid wasting
December 5, 2011, Dr. Chen emailed Appellant stating, "
I am not in any position to continue to supervise you because
it has been obvious to me that you think you know more than
me on ES cell works and disagree with everything I said. The
most important and urgent goal for me is to ensure that we
are able to rescue these ongoing ES cells so that ours and
collaborator's resources won't be wasted again.
Therefore, it is best for [Xian Yu] to take over these
important ES cells simply because I have confidence that he
would follow the protocols strictly. I would not tolerate any
violation of ES cell protocol anymore."
Chen then discovered more mistakes made by Appellant in her
research and in managing the mice colony. Dr. Chen testified
in his deposition that the combination of Appellant's
costly mistakes and belligerent behavior in his lab resulted
in his decision to talk to Human Resources about her because
he could not work with her and needed to protect the
integrity of the research. Dr. Chen met with Coleman and it
was decided they would comply with the terms of Dr.
Chen's and Appellant's November 7, 2011 agreement
that she would be employed and paid by Respondent through
January 31, 2012, but she was for practical purposes relieved
of her duties in Dr. Chen's lab as of December 6, 2011.
maintains she made her whistleblower complaints about Dr.
Chen on December 1, 2011; Dr. Chen found out about her
complaints on December 2, 2011; and Dr. Chen took action to
terminate her on December 6, 2011, immediately after he
learned of her allegations about him and in violation of
their previous arrangement that her last day of employment
would be January 31, 2012.
contrary, on November 7, 2011, Appellant and Dr. Chen agreed
that Appellant's employment by and with Respondent in Dr.
Chen's lab would terminate on January 31, 2012. All of
the whistleblower complaints made by Appellant, as alleged in
her petition, were made after November 7, 2011. Appellant
conceded in her deposition she first started raising her
allegations of Dr. Chen's public policy and legal
violations at her meeting with Chandler
on December 1, 2011. Therefore, they cannot be the cause of
her discharge, which was decided on November 7, 2011, and
never changed or deviated from by Appellant or Dr. Chen, who
were in mutual agreement and satisfaction of it. As such, the
facts in the summary judgment record refute Appellant's
claim of whistleblower wrongful discharge, primarily and most
obviously temporally. There exists no causal connection
between her allegations of Dr. Chen's misconduct and her
termination from employment. See, Holmes, 364 S.W.3d at 624.
her assertions to the contrary, Appellant was not terminated
from employment on December 6, 2011. Rather, because of her
behavior and mistakes in the lab, and to preserve the
integrity of the research, Dr. Chen stated she need not
physically come into the lab after December 6, 2011.
Appellant ignores the fact that she was employed by
Respondent and received full pay and benefits through January
31, 2012, the agreed-upon termination date that never
changed. She even conceded in the summary judgment record
that she received full pay and benefits through January 31,
2012. Appellant also was able to take 22 accrued days of paid
vacation between December 6, 2011 and January 31, 2012, which
she had requested to do and in fact did. Appellant cannot
establish any damages resulting from her discharge. See
Fleshner, 304 S.W.3d at 92.
on the foregoing, Appellant's wrongful discharge claim
lacks causation and damages. It fails as a matter of law,
rendering the legitimacy of her public policy violation
allegations irrelevant and moot, although two complaints were
admittedly made by Appellant without any personal knowledge
of their veracity and all four were investigated by
Respondent and determined to be without merit. Accordingly,
Points II, III and IV are denied.
fifth point, Appellant reasserts her entitlement to unpaid
overtime, unpaid wages and vacation pay in her claims for
unpaid statutory wages (Count III), quantum meruit (Count
IV), and unjust enrichment (Count V). These statutory and
equitable claims collapse because their legitimacy depends
upon the validity of Appellant's claims for overtime pay
under state minimum wage law and FLSA claims, which we have
determined fail as a matter of law. The claims overlap in
terms of asserting the same damages, which Appellant has not
and cannot prove for the reasons set forth supra in
this opinion with regard to overtime pay and because
Appellant admitted she received her full salary and benefits
through January 31, 2012, the agreed-upon date of her
separation. In addition, Appellant did not assert unpaid
accrued vacation as damages in her petition, so she cannot
assert it now; she requested the use of her vacation time
during the holidays, which request was granted; and she used
the accrued days as paid vacation days, so she cannot now be
heard to complain she did not receive monetary compensation
for those days as unused.
was paid in full for her work for Respondent and was not due
any wages, overtime or accrued vacation pay. Accordingly,
Respondent was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on
Appellant's claims for unpaid wages, quantum meruit, and
unjust enrichment. Point V is denied.
trial court's judgment is affirmed.
Hoff, J., and Philip M. Hess, J., concur.
All statutory references are to RSMo 2006,
unless otherwise indicated.
Section 290.110, titled " Payment due
discharged employee-exceptions-penalty for delay,"
provides in pertinent part as follows:
Whenever any person, firm or corporation doing
business in this state shall discharge any ... employee
thereof, the unpaid wages of the ... employee then earned
... shall be and become due and payable on the day of
the discharge .... as a penalty for such nonpayment the
wages of the ... employee shall continue from the date of
the discharge... at the same rate until paid; provided,
such wages shall not continue more than sixty
Gastrin-releasing peptide receptor. Mice
lacking neurons expressing GRPR, a molecular signature for
the putative itch-specific labeled line in the spinal cord,
nearly eliminate their scratching response to a range of
pruritic stimuli without altering normal nociceptive
" Electroporation" is a molecular
biology technique in which an electrical field is applied to
cells in order to increase the permeability of the cell
membrane, allowing chemicals, drugs, or DNA to be introduced
into the cell.
Genomic means having a full set of
chromosomes; or all the inheritable traits of an
PCR is a technology in molecular biology
used to amplify a single copy or a few copies of a piece of
DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands
to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.
Additionally, we note that although not
dispositive of the issue, Appellant conceded in her
deposition that she knew her position was exempt and this
fact was acceptable to her. She acknowledged she was willing
to work longer hours, including weekends and holidays, as an
Appellant did not assert the loss of
payment for 22 accrued but unused vacation days as damages in
her petition. She also used the accrued days as vacation days
for which she was paid.
The letter agreement also stated that
Appellant's position was contingent upon continued
receipt of grant funding, which was expected to continue
until at least September 23, 2011. The agreement further
provided: " If your position is eliminated due to the
discontinuation of funding, you will be given a minimum of 30