Employees' Personal Information Found In Dumpster

September 17, 2006



ORLANDO, Fla. -- Things as simple as a name and Social Security number could make someone a victim of identity theft.

How would you feel if that information was just tossed in the trash?

Personal information was found on Wednesday night in a Dumpster of a closed restaurant on International Drive, WESH 2 News reported.

WESH 2 I-team reporter Michelle Meredith tried to get answers at the now out-of-business Whistle Junction on International Drive.

"How could you be so careless?" Meredith asked.

Reams of papers with personal information ended up in the restaurant.s Dumpster. Someone called WESH 2 News to report how the iteams in the trash, and what the I-Team found was appalling -- names and complete Social Security numbers were there for anyone to take.

Former employees were not happy.

"I need to know what I need to do about it because I don't want anybody to steal my identity," Twana Smith said.

On Thursday, the WESH 2 I-team found the Dumpster as clean as a whistle. The first manager Meredith talked to said she had it all wrong.

"We made sure that we kept everything confidential," former general manager Ken Brown said.

Next, he said he was just following orders.

"We disposed the information like it was instructed to me do to," he said.

"Just throw it in the garbage can?" Meredith asked.

"Yes," he said.

The area director also started with one story but ended with another.

"He got the order from you just to dump all the records of your former employees in the garbage can?" Meredith asked.

"There are no personal records. I have the employee files with me to my knowledge," Jeff Bagamary said.

"This is the stack of all the employee files, the W-4 forms," he said as he showed Meredith some files in his car's trunk.

"I can tell you this," she said. "That's not the same batch of papers."

"I'm going to look into it and get to the bottom of it because that's not acceptable," Bagamary said.

It is also against the law to dispose of such information.

All of the former employees should monitor their credit reports every three to four months. They should also order a fraud alert, which is free and allows you to know when someone is trying to get credit in your name, Meredith reported.

main page ATTRITION feedback