Chase Manhattan Corp. is being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which alleges the bank's benefits policy for employees with mental disabilities is discriminatory.

Filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the lawsuit contends that Chase discriminated against at least 28 employees who have mental disabilities by cutting off their disability benefits after 18 months. The federal agency said Chase had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to an agency attorney.

Chase allows employees with physical disabilities to get benefits until they reach 65 but extends benefits covering treatment of mental disabilities for only 18 months. A spokesman for the bank would not comment.

Staten Island Savings Bank is named in an identical suit filed by the EEOC in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, the government attorney said.

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