Is Removal of a Job Classification from the Bargaining Unit a Mandatory or Permissive Subject of Bargaining?

A union representing employees of Rite Aid’s New York and New Jersey stores filed a complaint alleging that the company illegally insisted, as a condition of reaching a contract, that the union agree to remove newly hired interns and pharmacists working in New York stores from the bargaining unit. Rite Aid contended that is proposal to remove future pharmacists and interns from the unit was a mandatory subject because it was “a proposal to transfer work out of the unit to the future pharmacists and interns who will be performing work as statutory supervisors.”

The judge dismissed Rite Aid’s argument because of the inclusion of the interns. The interns were not going to perform supervisory duties once excluded from the unit. Had Rite Aid just sought to remove the pharmacists, the outcome would likely have been different.

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 285-5342 or email him at