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ND Supreme Court sides with Altru in discrimination case

The North Dakota Supreme Court sided with Grand Forks' Altru Health System in an age discrimination case brought by a former employee. Lori Yahna, 51, argued she was wrongly fired as a registered vascular technologist at Altru in 2012 after she w...

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The North Dakota Supreme Court sided with Grand Forks' Altru Health System in an age discrimination case brought by a former employee.

Lori Yahna, 51, argued she was wrongly fired as a registered vascular technologist at Altru in 2012 after she was told she would have to work full-time and "be responsible for call." She said she was replaced by younger employees who were paid less, and that Altru violated several of its policies, including one forbidding age discrimination, as well as the North Dakota Human Rights Act.

Altru argued Yahna refused several options to work part-time and that she was an at-will employee. It also argued her department was reorganized and that she was fired for refusing to take on-call responsibilities.

The Supreme Court, in an opinion handed down this week, affirmed Grand Forks District Court Judge Jon Jensen's summary judgement and said "Altru's policies ... are not ambiguous and do not create a contractual relationship overcoming the at-will employment doctrine."

Messages left for Yahna and her attorney were not returned Wednesday.

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