Can i quit & walk out of the store i work at, while working a 3rd shift, if nobody else is at the store to attend customers?

Asked 10 months ago - El Paso, TX

I work at a convenience store. On multiple occasions now, employees will simply choose to not show up because they no longer want to work there. This is now the 2nd time that this situation happens to me while working a 2nd shift, from 3-11pm. The 1st time, i called my manager & she came in to relieve my shift. The 2nd time she simply ignored my calls all night till morning. Having the good character that i have, i decided to stay the entire next shift (3rd shift; from 11pm-6am). The managers acted very naively as if it wasn't a big deal, however i feel taken advantage of. If I were to leave my manager a voicemail saying i quit and just leave the store when nobody else is there to attend customers, am i free to do so? without being liable legally for anything that happens after i leave?

Additional information

An example of this would be: I'm by myself at the convenience store i work at. I finish my shift from 3pm - 11pm. Nobody comes in to relieve my shift. I call upper management, nobody answers, because they dont want the burden of having to come in to relieve my shift. So after many calls to them, i decide to leave them a voicemail saying i quit. and i leave the store. Since nobody else is there to attend the store, as i was the only one at the store, if people began walking out with merchandise, or stealing merchandise or vandalized the store since nobody is there to attend them, would I be liable legally for anything that happened to the store, because i chose to quit & leave the store when no other employee was there to attend the store?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Mark Allen Land

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . abandoning a store unsecured is not a good plan. I would not recommend working another shirt without having a key so that you can lock the door if needed. Then, if no one shows up, you can call the manager. Leave a message that you are staying 30 minutes and then will lock the door, set the alarm (if possible) and leave.

    You should be able to secure the doors this issue aside. If you are working there alone, for your safety, you need to be able to lock the door.

  2. JaPaula C Kemp

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . Can you be sued in civil court. Yes, people sue all the time. Can criminal charges be filed? Yes, if they feel you walked out just so others could come in and steal. This would not be a good idea. The best thing to do is find another job. Walking out on your shift leaving the store unattended could mean legal trouble. Even if you prevail on the civil claim against you and the criminal charges are dismissed.... you had to hire an attorney, post bond on the criminal case, go to court, etc. You should find other employment.

    The information provided is not advice but a legal perspective and you should schedule a consultation with the... more
  3. Billy Jack Stovall II

    Contributor Level 11

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As others have stated abandoning a store unsecured is not a good plan. You risk both civil and criminal liability. Make sure you do not work another shift without having a key so that if your relief doesn't show up for their shift you can lock the door and leave. In this manner you can properly secure the premises and not merely abandon it. Once you lock up the store call your manager and notify them that you are leaving and resigning from your job. If the premises is alarmed set it.

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