Charlotte Garden

Co-Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and 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 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 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

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.

Outlook 2018: Supreme Court - What's at Stake for the Workplace

December 12, 2017 | Bloomberg

Labor law expert Charlotte Garden discusses current cases that could affect workers.

Will Trump Lawyers Switch Sides in Supreme Court Labor Case?

December 05, 2017 | Bloomberg

Federal opposition could make the unions' case even tougher, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

It's GrubHub on Trial But Uber Has a Dog in This Fight Too

October 30, 2017 | Bloomberg

GrubHub ruling will be seen as bellwether for other gig-economy companies, Professor Charlotte Garden says.

Did The Washington Post Break A Law When It Disciplined A Reporter Over A Jeff Bezos Op-Ed?

September 15, 2017 | HuffPost

Professor Charlotte Garden weighs in on whether the Washington Post can discipline an employee who criticized Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Post.

Labor Day under Trump? Not exactly a picnic

September 03, 2017 | The Seattle Times

Professor Charlotte Garden, an expert in labor law and regulation, shares how Seattle has improved life for workers.

Labor Organizing in Right-to-Work States Is Numbers Game

August 15, 2017 | Bloomberg BNA

States make it difficult for labor unions to organize, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Fired Google Engineer Claims His Rights Were Violated. Trump's Labor Board May Disagree

August 08, 2017 | HuffPost

A fired Google employee is probably not protected by laws allowing workers to organize, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber, Lyft Face Setback in Push to Block Seattle Union Effort

August 01, 2017 | The Wall Street Journal

Latest court ruling makes drivers' union more likely, Professor Charlotte Garden says.

Judge Tosses Federal Lawsuit Against Seattle's Uber Unionization Law

August 01, 2017 | The Stranger

Professor Charlotte Garden predicts a second court win for the city's ordinance.

Deregulation at Work

July 24, 2017 | ACSBlog

Professor Charlotte Garden anticipates labor deregulation in the coming months and years.

Improving Work Law Enforcement in States: California's Private Attorneys General Act

July 19, 2017 | On Labor

States can pick up federal slack in enforcing worker protection laws, Professor Charlotte Garden says.

Two Federal Lawsuits Could Spell Big Trouble for Uber

April 10, 2017 | Pacific Standard

How can Seattle defend its driver unionization ordinance? Charlotte Garden offers her thoughts.

Seattle Driver-for-Hire Union Law Hits Bump in Road

April 05, 2017 | Bloomberg BNA

Teamsters need driver lists in order to organize effectively, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Opinion analysis: Court unanimously adopts abuse-of-discretion review for district court decisions to enforce EEOC subpoenas

April 04, 2017 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes the high court's opinion in McLane v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Judge Blocks Seattle Law Allowing Uber and Lyft Drivers to Unionize

April 04, 2017 | Bloomberg

The court ruling could cause a loss in momentum for unionization efforts, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Unionize Uber? Legal fight over Seattle drivers draws national attention

March 29, 2017 | The Seattle Times

Professor Charlotte Garden comments on the potential for driver unionization to spread to other cities.

Argument analysis: The court dives into Water Splash

March 23, 2017 | SOCTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Garden analyzes a Supreme Court cases about mailing judicial service documents.

Seattle Law Letting Drivers Unionize Survives Uber Legal Attack

March 17, 2017 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden calls the ruling a victory for Seattle and the Teamsters.

Unions Are Wondering: Resist or Assist?

March 15, 2017 | The Atlantic

Professor Charlotte Garden writes that the future of the American labor movement is at stake under Trump.

Uber Gears Up to Block Bid to Form a Union in Seattle

March 11, 2017 | The Wall Street Journal

Professor Charlotte Garden says the driver unionization effort could spread to other cities.

Uber Deal Giving Drivers $1 Each Sparks Feud Among Rival Lawyers

March 10, 2017 | Bloomberg

Professor Charlotte Garden comments on a lawyer rivalry in the class action case against Uber.