A paperboy from Kent who lost his case against unfair dismissal may appeal against the decision.
Myles Bebbington, 15, of Canterbury, and his family lodged the claim against newsagent Sturry News after an alleged disagreement over his starting time.
But an employment tribunal in Ashford ruled that he was not an employee.
The Children's Legal Centre (CLC) said in its view children under compulsory school age who worked were employees by law and had to have a permit to work.
Professor Carolyn Hamilton, director, said it was a questionable judgement and the CLC was providing advice for the family and awaiting further details, before deciding if there was any basis to take the matter further.
"We would be very concerned at any finding which held a paperboy or girl is not an employee of a newsagent, as the child would not benefit from the legal protection provided by law for this age group," she said.
Sturry News and the Bebbington family both declined to comment.