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


Constitutional Law I (CNLW-200-A)
Labor Law (EMPL-350-A)


Charlotte Garden is an expert in labor law and the regulation of work & workers. She is an Associate Professor at the Seattle University School of Law, where she teaches Labor Law, Constitutional Law, Appellate Litigation and Legislation & Regulation. She also teaches in the Civil Rights Amicus Clinic, serves as the Faculty Advisor for the School's chapter of the American Constitution Society, and is the Litigation Director at the School's Korematsu Center for Law & Equality.

Professor Garden's scholarship focuses on the intersection of work/labor law 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, and the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She regularly writes opinion and analysis pieces for non-academic audiences at popular outlets such as The Atlantic, SCOTUSblog, Salon and the blog of the American Constitution Society. Her legal analysis has been featured in the mainstream media, on platforms such as the New York Times, APR's Marketplace, Bloomberg News, the Washington Post, The Nation, and Politico. Professor Garden is a co-author of a Labor Law casebook, with collaborators Seth Harris, Anne Marie Lofaso, and Joe Slater.

In addition to her teaching and scholarship, Professor Garden serves on the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law, is a co-chair of the Labor Rights Collaborative Research Network of the Law & Society Association, and is a co-editor of the Work Law section for the online legal journal JOTWELL. She also regularly authors amicus briefs in cases affecting unions and workers, most recently in Vergara v. California, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, and Harris v. Quinn.

Before 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. While there, she argued cases before the Fourth and D.C. Circuits. Professor Garden then clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. A graduate of NYU School of Law and McGill University, Professor Garden also spent several years in practice as a public interest litigator. From 2005-2008, she was an associate at the union-side labor law firm Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC in Washington, D.C. Before that, she was a guardian ad litem at the Children's Law Center in Washington D.C., and held the Abraham Fuchsberg Fellowship at Public Citizen Litigation Group, where she focused on consumer safety issues, class action fairness, and Internet privacy.


Disrupting Work Law, __ CHI. L. FORUM __ (forthcoming 2017) (in progress).

Comments on the Restatement of Employment Law (Third), Chapter One, __ EM. RTS. & EMP. POL'Y J. __ (forthcoming 2017) (in progress) (with Joseph Slater).

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

McDonald's Franchisees See Strength in Numbers; Some See a Union

December 04, 2018 | Bloomberg Law

Franchise operators want to organize but oppose workers' ability to do the same thing, Professor Charlotte Garden says.

Anecdotal Evidence for 'Joint Employment' Rule May Not Be Enough

November 15, 2018 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden expects dueling analyses as employers and workers debate the rule.

Opinion analysis: Federal age-discrimination law applies to all public employees

November 06, 2018 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes an age discrimination ruling, the first decision of the Supreme Court's 2018-19 session.

Argument analysis: The familiar divide in arbitration cases re-emerges

October 30, 2018 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes oral arguments in a case heard at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Washington Supreme Court Rules That Charter Schools Are Constitutional

October 25, 2018 | KNKX

Professor Charlotte Garden comments on the collective bargaining rights of charter school employees.

Arbitration Day at Supreme Court: Will 'Super Statute' Prevail?

October 25, 2018 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden previews two arbitration cases pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Argument preview: How should courts decide if parties to an arbitration contract may aggregate their claims?

October 22, 2018 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden previews an arbitration case at the Supreme Court this term.

9 law experts on what Brett Kavanaugh means for the future of America

October 09, 2018 | KUOW

Professors Andrew Siegel, Charlotte Garden, and others weigh in on what Justice Brett Kavanaugh means for the Supreme Court.

Argument analysis: "A strange statute that was written in a strange way"

October 02, 2018 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes oral arguments in an age discrimination case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Joint Employment Test's Bark May Be Worse Than Its Bite

October 02, 2018 | Bloomberg

Franchise businesses have the most to lose, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber Drivers Suing for Better Pay Lose Critical Court Ruling

September 25, 2018 | Bloomberg

A changing legal landscape means the case is far from over, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Four Reasons Brett Kavanaugh Is Scary That Go Way Beyond Abortion

September 10, 2018 | VICE

SCOTUS nominee sees the law through employers' eyes, not employees' eyes, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Judge Kavanaugh on work law

August 16, 2018 | SCOTUSblog

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tends to defer to employers in his work-law rulings, writes Professor Charlotte Garden.

Inconsistent Views on Waiving Rights in Employment

July 26, 2018 | The Regulatory Review

Professor Charlotte Garden says individual arbitration clauses are harmful to workers.

Black Cities in Red States Win Key Victory in Minimum Wage Fight

July 25, 2018 | Bloomberg Quint

Professor Charlotte Garden says it's difficult to prove that a legislature acted with racial animus.

10 Questions Judge Kavanaugh Should Answer

July 11, 2018 | The Nation

Professor Charlotte Garden offers a theoretical question for Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing.

For 60 Years, This Powerful Conservative Group Has Worked to Crush Labor

July 05, 2018 | The Nation

Professor Charlotte Garden speculates that exclusive representation could be the next casualty in the war against unions.

After Janus, the country's largest public-sector union takes stock of its movement

July 05, 2018 | The Intercept

Professor Charlotte Garden speculates on other targets the "right to work" organizations might go after.

California judge rules against class-action status in Twitter gender bias case

July 03, 2018 | The Seattle Times

This ruling is not the end of the case, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

The Deregulatory First Amendment Strikes Back

July 03, 2018 | Shall Take Care

Professor Charlotte Garden kicks off a roundtable discussion with analysis of recent court rulings.

Twitter Beats Back Group-Bias Lawsuit by Female Engineer

July 03, 2018 | Bloomberg

The case could continue without class-action status, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

How A New Supreme Court Justice May Affect Cases Filed By Washington's Attorney General

July 02, 2018 | KNKX

Professor Charlotte Garden says the new high court is more likely to lean right and support Trump.

Union-hating billionaires bankrolled case

July 02, 2018 | New York Teacher

Janus case is the "latest salvo" in long fight against unions, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Belabored Podcast #154: After Janus, with Charlotte Garden

June 29, 2018 | Dissent

Professor Charlotte Garden anticipates fallout from the Supreme Courts union fees decision.

Life after Janus

June 28, 2018 | Politico

No workers will pay union fees unless they want to, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

This Supreme Court made it easier for conservatives to win First Amendment claims, but harder for liberals

June 28, 2018 | NBC News Think

Recent rulings protect some speakers and forms of speech over others, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

How the Supreme Court's Latest Ruling Could Decimate Public Sector Unions

June 27, 2018 | Mother Jones

Professor Charlotte Garden says anti-union groups have been litigating toward this goal since the 1950s.

Judge blocks effort to expand Microsoft gender-bias case to thousands of women

June 25, 2018 | The Seattle Times

Plaintiffs will likely appeal class action ruling, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

What the Supreme Court decision means for workers — especially if you work at a private company

May 22, 2018 | Mic

Professor Charlotte Garden says many worker claims are too small to fight in court individually.

Pay-Hungry Uber Drivers Hobbled by High Court Arbitration Ruling

May 21, 2018 | Bloomberg Technology

Professor Charlotte Garden says a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling is bad news for Uber drivers and their class action suit.

Supreme Court Issues "Disaster" Ruling for Workers — What Can Washington Do About It?

May 21, 2018 | The Stranger

Professor Charlotte Garden says low-wage workers will be especially hurt by the court ruling.

Trump Administration Fights Effort to Unionize Uber Drivers

March 26, 2018 | The Intercept

Professor Charlotte Garden outlines advantages of Seattle's driver unionization ordinance.

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Case With Big Significance For Public-Sector Unions

February 26, 2018 | KNKX

Professor Charlotte Garden explains what's at stake in Janus v. AFSCME.

Legal Scholar: Sliver of Hope for Labor After Janus Hearing

February 26, 2018 | Capital & Main

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in a case about union fees.

Think-Tank Workers Think About Joining Union

February 21, 2018 | Bloomberg Law

Professor Charlotte Garden comments about how millennials are the guiding force behind the current growth in professional unions.

GrubHub drivers are independent contractors — not employees — under California law, judge rules

February 08, 2018 | Los Angeles Times

Professor Charlotte Garden says stricter standards in California make the win especially significant.

Litigation Over Seattle Law Allowing Unionization For Ride-Share Drivers Continues

February 06, 2018 | KNKX

Professor Charlotte Garden says judges are grappling with the new law.

The Eminent Libertarians Who Might Save Public Sector Unions

February 02, 2018 | The Intercept

Two legal scholars could be very influential in a pending Supreme Court case on union fees, according to Charlotte Garden.

Google is being sued for discriminating against men and women. Both can't be true.

January 16, 2018 | NBC Think

Charlotte Garden looks at conflicting claims about gender discrimination at Google.

Columbia University Has Options to Delay Bargaining

December 20, 2017 | Bloomberg

Public sentiment could help Columbia grad students bargain with the university, says Professor Charlotte Garden.