Is my employer responsible for inadequate security issues?

Convenience stores offer consumers the benefit of purchasing items quickly and at times when larger stores are closed for business. Due to their smaller staff sizes and longer hours, convenience stores often become targets of crime. The Florida state legislature has recognized the growing dangers associated with robbery and other crimes committed against convenience store employees.

Florida Statute section 812.173 has addressed this problem directly by requiring convenience store owners to install certain items within their stores and adopt other practices designed to deter and prevent crime.

The following are some of the items now required in every Florida convenience store unless specifically exempted by the Attorney General:

— The store must have a functioning security camera system capable of recording images and playing those images back later to assist law enforcement.

— The store must contain either a drop safe or some cash management device that restricts access to the store’s cash.

— The parking lot of the store must contain lighting that illuminates it at a certain standard.

— The entrance of the store must contain conspicuous signage that lets people know that the cash register holds $50 or less.

— There must be a silent alarm installed within the business and connected to law enforcement or a private security company.

— After July 1, 1989 any convenience store in which there has been a murder, robbery, sexual battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, kidnapping or false imprisonment must have two employees working between the hours of 11:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. If not, then the store must have a transparent polycarbonate (bulletproof glass) enclosure that meets a certain standard to protect an employee from harm during those periods of time.

Is important to remember that this is not a complete list of all the requirements of convenience store owners. Generally speaking, a convenience store owner responsible for providing inadequate security for their employers may be liable for injuries suffered as a result of a foreseeable harm.

Source: The 2014 Florida State Statues, “Section 812.173 Convenience business security” Sep. 02, 2014