Is it illegal in any way for a 19 year old female to be left alone running a coffee shop or to close the store alone?

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, this is in no way illegal. A 19-year-old--assuming that she is mentally competent--is an adult; there are no laws saying that an adult may not run a store by him- or herself, or close up the store by him- or herself.

It is possible that if the situation/environment is a dangerous one, and this employee is injured because the store does not take reasonable secuurity precautions--e.g. does not have security cameras; keeps too much money on hand (doesn't use the drop or timed safes that, say, 7-11's use), making it a good target; doesn't have adequate lighting or an alarm or panic button, etc.--that she could sue the store for her injuries, with liability based on its failure to take reasonable security precautions. However, even if under certain circumstances, she may have a cause of action if injured, that still does not make it illegal to have her staff the store by herself or close it on her own. If she is uncomfortabe doing that, she may need to consider other employment.

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