Charlotte Garden

Co-Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development 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

Google Union's Future Likely Hinges on Tech Giant's Response

January 06, 2021 | Bloomberg Law

The union can work creatively to put pressure on Google, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

How to Counteract the Court

November 24, 2020 | The American Prospect

Congress hasn't had the political energy to override the U.S. Supreme Court, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

'Salt Bae' Tips Memo Shows Where Labor, Wage Laws Meet

November 17, 2020 | Law 360

Professor Charlotte Garden comments on a case involving a celebrity chef.

3 Takeaways As Gig Cos. Prevail At Polls On Worker Status

November 04, 2020 | Law 360

Professor Charlotte Garden says the California vote isn't likely to affect legislators in other states.

Uber, Lyft Legal Blow Widens Door For Labor Law Challenges

October 23, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

California's new law regulating gig companies didn't solve the issue of mass arbitration, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

How to Boost Unions' Power? Sectoral Bargaining.

October 22, 2020 | In These Times

Professor Charlotte Garden says sector-based bargaining allows employers to focus on quality of services.

What Prop. 22's defeat would mean for Uber and Lyft — and drivers

October 19, 2020 | Los Angeles Times

California's Proposition 22 would take the teeth out of the state's ability to challenge companies that misclassify workers, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber, Lyft Win Delay on Converting Drivers to Employees

August 20, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

The court may have had the interests of drivers and riders in mind, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber, Lyft Must Convert Drivers Into Employees, Judge Rules

August 10, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

Professor Charlotte Garden says California law doesn't preclude flexible employment.

GrubHub Ruling Draws New Line in Battles Over Driver Arbitration

August 06, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

Professor Charlotte Garden weighs in on whether gig drivers can be considered transportation workers.

Uber Confronts California in Turning Point for Gig Workers

August 06, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

Professor Charlotte Garden explains the significance of a labor law hearing for Uber and Lyft.

Uber Takes Shot at Lyft in Defense to Gig Worker Suit

July 15, 2020 | Bloomberg

Are business models for Uber and Lyft different enough for labor law? Professor Charlotte Garden says probably not.

Religion, LGBT Rights Again on Collision Course at High Court

July 08, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

Professor Charlotte Garden explains which laws might allow for religious exemptions.

King County Labor Council expels Seattle police union

June 17, 2020 | Crosscut

Police unions should align member interests with community interests, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

LGBT Ruling Paves Way for Bathroom, Religious Battles at Work

June 16, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

A Supreme Court ruling helps more people understand that such discrimination is illegal, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Get Ready for Janus 2.0, Which Could Devastate Labor More Than the First

June 11, 2020 | In These Times

Lower courts were unanimous, so there's no reason for the U.S. Supreme Court to take this case, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Workers' Collective Power in the Pandemic

June 10, 2020 | The Century Foundation

Professor Charlotte Garden writes that unions are especially valuable in tough times.

The Case For Sectoral Bargaining Is Now Stronger Than Ever

May 21, 2020 | In These Times

Bargaining by sector is better for wages and safety standards, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Uber, Lyft Sued by California in Major Gig-Economy Crackdown

May 05, 2020 | Bloomberg Tax

Professor Charlotte Garden says the legal action might finally determine drivers' employment status.

Shelter From the Storm

May 04, 2020 | On Labor

Professor Charlotte Garden asks what policies would help people find economic shelter at work.

Uber Budges, a Bit, on Virus Sick Pay for California Drivers

April 30, 2020 | Bloomberg

Drivers might get sick pay, but employment status isn't settled, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Now Is the Best and Worst Time for Workers to Go on Strike

April 07, 2020 | Bloomberg Businessweek

Professor Charlotte Garden says city and state laws can protect workers who speak out for safety.

Opinion analysis: Federal employees need not show “but-for causation” to establish age discrimination liability

April 07, 2020 | SCOTUSblog

Professor Charlotte Gardens looks at the Supreme Court's ruling in Babb v. Wilkie.

Pandemic-Stoked Instacart Strike Exposes Risks for Gig Workers

March 31, 2020 | Bloomberg Law

Striking Instacart workers likely won't be fired, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

Union-Busting in the Name of God

March 31, 2020 | The Nation

Professor Charlotte Garden says religious values may be secondary to financial motives.

Seattle Uber, Lyft drivers say their earnings are plummeting amid the coronavirus outbreak, and there's little help in sight

March 13, 2020 | The Seattle Times

The risk of a company disappearing is borne by the workers in a gig economy, says Professor Charlotte Garden.

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.