Job applications with personal information found in Dumpster

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Sensitive personal information tossed out like trash. That's what one woman claims happened at a Valley restaurant, where job applications with Social Security numbers were carelessly thrown away.

“We went to throw something out. That's when we noticed it," Tiffany Arnold said.

Arnold said she was working nearby when she approached a Dumpster behind Denny's, near Peoria and 43rd avenues, and found some 200 job applications dating back to August 2012 with all kinds on personal information, including Social Security numbers and addresses. 

“The Dumpster, well it was like full and the applications were just lying on top and there was a couple on the ground," Arnold said.

The dumpster says recycling, but the last thing these applicants want is their Social Security number, their identity, being recycled by a thief.

“It's like what is this? Why are they throwing this out without shredding it or attempting to shred it?" Arnold said. "It still says job applications on side. It’s not even like they tried.”

We asked the restaurant manager what happened.

“No, these are not supposed to be thrown away. It is not supposed to be thrown away, it's supposed to be shredded,” said Denny’s manager Sue Sumter. 

She’s been with the company six years and can’t understand how this personal information wound up in the Dumpster. 

“It is supposed to be very, very safe," Sumter said. "Apparently, someone has done something very, very wrong on this one."

We took this information and reached out to some of the most recent applicants.

“I don't know, I'm pretty much speechless. I don't know what to say,” said one applicant named Edward. “It should be treated with more respect, shredded or burned or something.”

Potential employers will ask for all kinds of personal information to ensure a person's right to work, however, some savvy applicants provided only part of their Social Security number or offered to provide that number upon being offered a job.

“I mean I'm kind of sketched out about it,” said applicant Trenton Keller. “I could understand if they shredded it and threw it away.”

“I mean my social is on there, my personal info and stuff, yeah that really does bother me,” said applicant Tiffany Jones.

And it bothers the franchisee, too.

3TV is told this Denny’s franchise has very strict document retention and destruction policies in place and has specific guidelines for how personal confidential information should be handled.

The franchisee is now launching a full investigation into how this happened so as to prevent it from ever happening again.