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Arizona's mental illness claims rank high

26 Mar 2002

By Susie Steckner and Jodie Snyder

In the past five years, Arizona workers have filed 755 mental health-related discrimination claims, representing one-fifth of all claims statewide. Nationally, 16 percent of the total claims were mental health-related; in Arizona the figure was 22 percent, according to data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Local workers who made allegations of wrongdoing suffered a range of illnesses, from anxiety to schizophrenia. They charged that they were harassed, disciplined, fired or otherwise discriminated against by their employers. The claims were made under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, established more than a decade ago to protect workers with disabilities from discrimination. Since 1996, Arizonians have filed just over 3,500 discrimination claims under the ADA. Last year's total was the highest at 707.

Copyright 2002, Used with permission from The Arizona Republic.

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