TOPEKA – (November 29, 2011) – A company accused of leaving thousands of sensitive employees records in an open dumpster in a Wichita alley will pay $200,000 to the state and take steps to protect employee privacy in the future, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
Schmidt entered into a settlement this week with the management corporation for Lone Star Steakhouse, known as LS Management, Inc. The Attorney General’s office alleged that on or about March 21, 2011, the company threw thousands of employee files containing confidential employee records into unsecured dumpsters in an alley in Wichita and that the improper disposal violated state and federal privacy laws. The dumpsters were either picked up and taken to a recycling company or left unsecured overnight. Many of the files contained employee records such as credit reports, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers and other personal identifying information.
“Companies that collect sensitive personal information have a legal duty to keep that information secure and to dispose of it properly,” Schmidt said. “Dumping records in an open dumpster in an alley does not satisfy that legal duty.”
Schmidt said the settlement, which was executed this week, will protect employees by requiring the company to take steps to prevent future privacy law violations. The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office negotiated the settlement, which is the largest of its kind in Kansas history.