Charlotte Garden

Co-Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and Associate Professor of Law
Curriculum Vitae


Sullivan Hall 322
(206) 398-4073


B.A., with great distinction, McGill University, 2000
J.D., cum laude, New York University School of Law, 2003
LL.M., with distinction, Georgetown University Law Center, 2010


Labor and Employment Law
Constitutional Law
Legislation & Regulation


Charlotte Garden is an expert in labor & employment law. She is an Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Seattle University School of Law, where she teaches Labor Law, Employment Law, Constitutional Law, Appellate Litigation, and Legislation & Regulation. She occasionally teaches in the Civil Rights Amicus Clinic and is the Litigation Director at the School's Korematsu Center for Law & Equality. Since 2017, she has been the Law School’s Co-Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development.

Professor Garden’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of work/labor/technology and the Constitution. Her articles have appeared in the Emory Law Journal, Boston University Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Fordham Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, the University of Chicago Legal Forum, and the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She is a co-author of two leading labor & employment law casebooks: Modern Labor Law in the Private and Public Sectors, with Seth Harris, Anne Marie Lofaso, Joe Slater, and Dick Griffin, Jr.; and Employment Law Cases and Materials, with Mark Rothstein, Lance Liebman, Kimberly Yuracko, and Paul Secunda. In 2019, Cambridge University Press will publish her edited volume, The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law (co-edited with Rick Bales).

In addition to her teaching and scholarship, Professor Garden’s external service includes serving as Chair-Elect of the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law, and co-chairing a working group of the Clean Slate Project at Harvard Law School’s Labor & Worklife Program. She is a co-editor of the Work Law section for the online legal journal JOTWELL, a Senior Contributor to OnLabor, and a Contributor to Take Care. She regularly authors amicus briefs in cases affecting unions and workers, including in Janus v. AFSCME, Chamber of Commerce v. City of Seattle, Vergara v. California, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, and Harris v. Quinn.

Professor Garden regularly writes opinion and analysis pieces for practitioners and non-academic audiences. She regularly publishes case previews and argument/opinion analysis for SCOTUSblog, and her opinion pieces have appeared in outlets such as The Atlantic, NBCThink, and the blog of the American Constitution Society. Her legal analysis is regularly featured in the mainstream media, on platforms such as the New York Times, NPR, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, The Nation, and Politico.

Prior to joining Seattle University, Professor Garden was a teaching fellow in the Appellate Litigation Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she also received her LL.M. Professor Garden then clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is graduate of NYU School of Law and McGill University.



Avoidance Creep (in progress)

Speech Inequality – IND. L.J. – (in progress)

The Seattle Solution: Collective Bargaining by For-Hire Drivers & Prospects for Pro-Labor Federalism, HARV. L. & POL'Y REV. (2018)

Disrupting Work Law: Disrupting Work Law: Arbitration in the Gig Economy , 2017 CHI. L. FORUM (2018).

The Deregulatory First Amendment at Work, 51 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 323 (2016).

Religious Employers & Labor Law: Bargaining in Good Faith?, 95 B.U. L. REV. 109 (2016)

Toward Politically Stable NLRB Lawmaking: Rulemaking vs. Adjudication
, 64 EMORY L.J. 1467 (2015).

Meta Rights, 83 FORDHAM L. REV. 855 (2014)
Selected for peer review in JOTWELL, available at

Citizens United & the First Amendment of Labor Law,43 STETSON L. REV. 571 (2014).

Unions & Campaign Finance Litigation, 14 NEVADA L.J. 364 (2014).

"So Closely Intertwined": Labor Interests and Racial Solidarity, 81 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 1135 (2013) (with Nancy Leong).

Union Made: Labor's Litigation for Social Change, 88 TULANE L. REV. 193 (2013).

Teaching for America: Unions and Academic Freedom, 43 U. TOL. L. REV. 563 (2012).

Citizens, United and Citizens United: The Future of Labor Speech Rights?, 53 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1 (2011). Selected for peer review in JOTWELL, available at

Labor Values are First Amendment Values: Why Union Comprehensive Campaigns are Protected Speech,
79 FORDHAM L. REV. 2617 (2011).
Cited in Cox et al., LABOR LAW, 572 (15th ed. 2011).

Recent Activity

In the News

Judge's Instacart Ruling Draws First Blood in Contractor Battle

February 26, 2020 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says other companies will play for time before reacting to the ruling.

What’s Next For Labor Law Reform?

February 24, 2020 | The Century Foundation

Professor Charlotte Garden writes that the Clean Slate for Worker Power is an ambitious plan for systemic labor law reform.

Kickstarter Union Vote Could Spark More Tech Organizing

February 18, 2020 | Law360

Professor Charlotte Garden says more union drives could be on the way.

DoorDash's multimillion-dollar arbitration mistake

February 16, 2020 | Washington Post

Professor Charlotte Garden says clever workers have turned an arbitration policy into a nightmare for their employer.

Seattle-Area Bikini Baristas Take Their Fight All the Way to the Supreme Court

February 11, 2020 | Eater Seattle

Professor Charlotte Garden says there's a very small chance SCOTUS will hear the case.

Uber Urges California Court to End Law That Gives Gig Workers Benefits

February 07, 2020 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden calls the legal maneuver "an extreme long shot."

Uber Falters in First Legal Attack on California Gig Worker Law

February 07, 2020 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden said the companies were likely hoping for a regulation-averse judge.

Duquesne Exempt From NLRA, Beats Adjunct Faculty Union Push

January 28, 2020 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden is quoted in this story about whether national labor law applies to religious schools.

Argument analysis: May a federal employer say "OK, boomer" to a job applicant?

January 16, 2020 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes oral argument in Babb v. Wilkie.

Argument preview: What counts as discrimination "based on" age?

January 08, 2020 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes Babb v. Wilkie, a case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Amazon employee group says company threatened to fire climate activists

January 02, 2020 | KNKX

Professor Charlotte Garden says speech protections are different for private-sector workers.

Uber, Postmates Sue California to Block Gig-Worker Law

December 30, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says the lawsuit is likely dead on arrival.

Labor & Employment In The Courts: A Decade In Review

December 20, 2019 | Law 360

Professor Charlotte Garden comments on major labor law cases from the last 10 years.

Uber, Lyft Drivers Could Form Unions Under New York Proposal

December 02, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says a court ruling left open the possibility of legislation at the state level.

Uber Drivers Who Make Airport Runs Get a Boost in Pay Fight

November 26, 2019 | Bloomberg

Regulators are increasingly skeptical that ride-share companies can police themselves, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber Accused of Cheating the Public in Driver's Suit Over Pay

November 21, 2019 | Bloomberg

Uber's legal conflict calls into question public policy about workers in general, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

If you are a unionized journalist, this labor ruling should worry you

November 12, 2019 | Vox

Professor Charlotte Garden explains how a labor law interpretation could apply to political reporters.

Courts Dent Gig Companies' Shield Against 'Existential' Threat

October 23, 2019 | Bloomberg Law

Court rulings create new opportunities for app-based drivers to appeal their status, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber: The ride-hailing app that says it has 'zero' drivers

October 14, 2019 | The Washington Post

Professor Charlotte Garden says Uber often uses "colorful language" to describe its business.

A New Assault on Organized Labor

September 02, 2019 | Slate

Professor Charlotte Garden's scholarship on union membership as a free speech issue is cited in this article.

Obama-Backed Netflix Documentary Causes Headaches for Fuyao Glass

August 30, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says statements in the film are "hallmark violations" of labor law.

The Boss Can Tell You to Show Up for a Trump Rally

August 28, 2019 | The Atlantic

Professor Charlotte Garden explains how employers can influence workers' political choices.

Connecticut's Rest-Stop McDonald's Are New 'Fight for $15' Target

August 26, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says states have more leeway when they act as landlords for fast-food franchises.

Lawmakers Debate Sweeping Plan to Amend Federal Labor Law

July 30, 2019 | SHRM

Federal law should protect workers against "workplace fissuring," says Professor Charlotte Garden in testimony before Congress.

'Crowdworking' provides the humans who train artificial intelligence

July 26, 2019 | The Seattle Times

Workers are left vulnerable when companies use "crowdworking" for tasks that would otherwise be done by employees, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Amazon Workers Plan Prime Day Strike at Minnesota Warehouse

July 15, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says punishing workers who strike is a violation of federal labor law.

Opinion analysis: Administrative exhaustion is not jurisdictional for employment-discrimination plaintiffs

June 04, 2019 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden recaps an employment discrimination ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Scabby the Rat Is Under Attack—And Needs Our Help

May 16, 2019 | In These Times

Professor Charlotte Garden says the U.S. Supreme Court has reliably protected activities like picketing.

Labor Law Safeguards for Worker Lawsuits Imperiled at NLRB

May 14, 2019 | Bloomberg Law

Professor Charlotte Garden explains how the National Labor Relations Act protects workers from employer retaliation.

Uber and the doublespeak at the heart of Silicon Valley

May 10, 2019 | Fast Company

Professor Charlotte Garden says federal labor law isn't affected by how states classify drivers.

Uber's Arbitration Addiction Could Be Death by 60,000 Cuts

May 08, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says Uber might cry uncle on negotiating with individual drivers.

Uber, Lyft Driver Strike Could Set Off Misclassification Minefield

May 08, 2019 |

Professor Charlotte Garden says employees are allowed to strike, but not independent contractors.

Bonney Lake Walmart's robot zips along in tech revolution that's raising big questions for workers

May 06, 2019 | The Seattle Times

Professor Charlotte Garden says unions are even more vital as robots transform jobs done by humans.

Opinion analysis: The meaning of consent to class arbitration

April 25, 2019 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lamps Plus v. Varela.

Seattle Labor Unions Then and Now

March 26, 2019 | Seattle Met

Professor Charlotte Garden offers observations on the current state of labor organizing in Seattle.

Franchisers Ask EEOC for Anti-Harassment Guidance Post #MeToo

March 22, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says franchisers want to avoid joint employer liability when dealing with franchisees’ anti-harassment policies.

Dozens of Class Actions Build on Supreme Court's 'Janus' Union Ruling

March 14, 2019 | The National Law Journal

Refunds of dues would be an existential threat to unions, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber to Pay $20 Million to Settle Driver Classification Suit

March 12, 2019 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden says the settlement is reasonable but doesn't resolve driver status.

Someone's Going to Get Killed Charging Those E-Scooters

March 12, 2019 | VICE

Professor Charlotte Garden says workers need companies to create better working conditions.