Charlotte Garden

Charlotte Garden

  • Professor of Law
  • Julius E. Davis Professor of Law
334 Mondale Hall


  • McGill University, B.A.
  • New York University School of Law, J.D.


  • Constitutional Law
  • Employment Law
  • Labor & Employment Law

Charlotte Garden joined the Law School faculty in Fall 2022. She specializes in labor law, employment law, and constitutional law. Her interests include the intersection of workers' rights and the Constitution, and how law supports (or undermines) worker voice and power. 

Professor Garden's scholarship has appeared in several leading law reviews, including the University of Pennsylvania Law ReviewEmory Law JournalBoston University Law ReviewGeorge Washington Law ReviewFordham Law Review, and the William & Mary Law Review. Her work for generalist audiences appears in outlets such as SCOTUSBlog and OnLabor. In 2019, Cambridge University Press published her edited volume, The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law For the Twenty-First Century (co-edited with Rick Bales). She is a co-author of two leading work law casebooks: Modern Labor Law in the Private and Public Sectors, with Joe Slater, Anne Marie Lofaso, Richard F. Griffin, Jr., and Seth Harris; and Employment Law Cases and Materials, with Mark Rothstein, Lance Liebman, Kimberly Yuracko, and Susan Cancelosi.

Professor Garden is active in national policy efforts to strengthen workers' rights, including the Economic Policy Institute's Unequal Power Project, a multiyear interdisciplinary initiative to reexamine the foundational assumptions about the balance of power in labor market relationships, and the Clean Slate for Worker Power, a project of Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. In 2019, she testified before Congress (House Committee on Education and Labor) as they considered the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), the most ambitious effort to reform American labor law since the New Deal. 

Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, Professor Garden was a professor at Seattle University School of Law where she served as Co-Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development. In 2016 she was a visiting professor at the University of Alabama School of Law. Professor Garden clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law (2003) and her B.A. from McGill University (2000). 

Employment Law

Constitutional Law: Federalism and Separation of Powers

First Amendment

Labor Law

Work and the Constitution


Modern Labor Law in the Private and Public Sectors: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed., 2016; 3d ed., 2021)
Seth Harris
Joseph Slater
Anne Lofaso
Richard Griffin, Jr.
Sharing the Gains of the U.S. Global Economy: Proceedings of the New York University 70th Annual Conference on Labor (Samuel Estreicher, series ed., New York University Center for Labor Employment Law, 2021) (volume editor)
Employment Law: Cases and Materials (West Academic, 9th ed., 2020)
Mark A. Rothstein
Lance M. Liebman
Kimberly A. Yuracko
The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law for the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2020) (co-editor)
Richard Bales

Journal Articles

Platform Unions, 108 Minnesota Law Review 2013 (2024)
Enforcement-Proofing Work Law, 44 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 191 (2023) (Feller Lecture)
Ministerial Employees and Discrimination Without Remedy, 97 Indiana Law Journal 1007 (2022)
Avoidance Creep, 168 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 331 (2020)
Is There an Anti-Democracy Principle in the Post-Janus v. AFSCME First Amendment?, 2020 University of Chicago Legal Forum 77 (2020)
Speech Inequality After Janus v. AFSCME, 95 Indiana Law Journal 269 (2020)
The Supreme Court’s 2019-2020 Employment Law Cases: The Court Giveth and the Court Taketh Away, 24 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 109 (2020)
Supreme Court Term 2018-19: The Calm Before the Employment Law Storm?, 23 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 199 (2019)
Labor Organizing in the Age of Surveillance, 63 Saint Louis University Law Journal 55 (2018)
Religious Accommodation at Work: Lessons from Labor Law, 50 Connecticut Law Review 855 (2018)
Comments on Restatement of Employment Law (Third), Chapter One, 21 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 265 (2017) 
Joseph Slater
Disrupting Work Law: Arbitration in the Gig Economy, 2017 University of Chicago Legal Forum 205 (2017)
The Seattle Solution: Collective Bargaining by For-Hire Drivers & Prospects for Pro-Labor Federalism, 12 Harvard Law and Policy Review Online 1 (2017)
Religious Employers and Labor Law: Bargaining in Good Faith?, 96 Boston University Law Review 109 (2016)
The Deregulatory First Amendment at Work, 51 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 323 (2016)
Toward Politically Stable NLRB Lawmaking: Rulemaking vs. Adjudication, 64 Emory Law Journal 1469 (2015)
Citizens United and the First Amendment of Labor Law, 43 Stetson Law Review 571 (2014)
Meta Rights, 83 Fordham Law Review 855 (2014)
Unions and Campaign Finance Litigation, 14 Nevada Law Journal 364 (2014)
"So Closely Intertwined": Labor and Racial Solidarity, 81 George Washington Law Review 1135 (2013)
Nancy Leong
Union Made: Labor's Litigation for Social Change, 88 Tulane Law Review 193 (2013)
Teaching for America: Unions and Academic Freedom, 43 University of Toledo Law Review 563 (2012)
Citizens, United and Citizens United: The Future of Labor Speech Rights?, 53 William and Mary Law Review 1 (2011)
Labor Values Are First Amendment Values: Why Union Comprehensive Campaigns Are Protected Speech, 79 Fordham Law Review 2617 (2011)

Book Chapters

The State’s Power to Govern in This Field Is Paramount: Antitrust, Labor, and the First Amendment, in The Cambridge Handbook of Labor in Competition Law (Sanjukta Paul, Shae McCrystal & Ewan McGaughey, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2022)
Unions and the Democratic First Amendment, in The Cambridge Handbook of Labor and Democracy (Angela B. Cornell & Mark Barenberg, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2022)
Beyond the Race to the Bottom: Reforming Labor Law Preemption to Allow State Experimentation, in The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law for the Twenty-First Century (Richard Bales & Charlotte Garden, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2020)
Tactical Mismatch in Union Organizing Drives, in The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law for the Twenty-First Century (Richard Bales & Charlotte Garden, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2020)
Epic Systems v. Lewis: The Return of Freedom of Contract In Work Law?, in ACS Supreme Court Review, 2017-2018 (Steven D. Schwinn, ed., American Constitution Society, 2018)
The Platform Identity Crisis: Responsibility, Discrimination, and a Functionalist Approach to Intermediaries, in The Cambridge Handbook of the Law of the Sharing Economy (Nestor M. Davidson, Michele Finck, and John J. Infranca, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2018)
Nancy Leong

Book Reviews

The Constitution at Work: Everything Old is New Again, JOTWELL, Mar. 10, 2015 (reviewing Sophia Z. Lee, The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right (Cambridge University Press, 2014))

Other Publications

Was It Something I Said?: Legal Protections for Employee Speech (Economic Policy Institute, May 5, 2022)
Introduction, 20 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 433 (2022) (Symposium on Workers' Rights in the Wake of a Global Pandemic)
Workers’ Collective Power in the Pandemic, Century Foundation, June 10, 2020
COVID-19 Crisis Underscores Need for Stronger Workers’ Rights, Century Foundation, Apr. 13, 2020
Moshe Marvit
What’s Next for Labor Law Reform?, Century Foundation, Feb. 24, 2020
DoorDash’s Multimillion-Dollar Arbitration Mistake, Washington Post, Feb. 16, 2020
Argument Analysis: May a Federal Employer Say “OK Boomer” to a Job Applicant?, SCOTUSBlog, Jan. 16, 2020
Argument Preview: What Counts as Discrimination “Based On” Age?, SCOTUSBlog, Jan. 8, 2020
Shelter From the Storm, 35 ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law 23 (2020)
The PRO Act and Workplace Fissuring, Century Foundation, Nov. 25, 2019
The Boss Can Tell You to Show Up for a Trump Rally, The Atlantic, Aug. 28, 2019
Opinion Analysis: Administrative Exhaustion is Not Jurisdictional for Employment-Discrimination Plaintiffs, SCOTUSBlog, June 4, 2019
Opinion Analysis: The Meaning of Consent to Class Arbitration, SCOTUSBlog, Apr. 25, 2019
Argument Analysis: Employment Discrimination Law’s “Natural Experiment”, SCOTUSBlog, Apr. 23, 2019
Argument Preview: Administrative Exhaustion is Mandatory, but is it Also Jurisdictional?, SCOTUSBlog, Apr. 15, 2019
Opinion Analysis: Federal Age-Discrimination Law Applies to All Public Employees, SCOTUSBlog, Nov. 6, 2018
Argument Analysis: The Familiar Divide in Arbitration Cases Re-Emerges, SCOTUSBlog, Oct. 30, 2018
Argument Preview: How Should Courts Decide if Parties to an Arbitration Contract May Aggregate Their Claims?, SCOTUSBlog, Oct. 22, 2018
Argument Analysis: “A Strange Statute That Was Written in a Strange Way”, SCOTUSBlog, Oct. 2, 2018
Argument Preview: Age Discrimination and Small Public Employers, SCOTUSBlog, Sept. 24, 2018
Judge Kavanaugh on Work Law, SCOTUSBlog, Aug. 16, 2018 (symposium on Judge Kavanaugh’s DC Circuit opinions)
Working Outside the NLRA, New Labor Forum, Aug. 1, 2018
Inconsistent Views on Waiving Rights in Employment, The Regulatory Review, July 26, 2018
This Supreme Court Made it Easier For Conservatives To Win First Amendment Claims, But Harder for Liberals, NBC Think, June 28, 2018
Opinion Analysis: Divided Court Holds More of Prisoners’ Damages Awards Must Go to Attorney’s Fees, SCOTUSBlog, Feb. 22, 2018
Google is Being Sued for Discriminating Against Men and Women, NBC Think, Jan. 16, 2018
Argument Analysis: What Does it Take to Satisfy an Award ofAttorney’s Fees?, SCOTUSBlog, Dec. 7, 2017
Argument Preview: Who Should Pay Attorneys Who Win on Behalf of Prisoners?, SCOTUSBlog, Nov. 29, 2017
Opinion Analysis: Court Offers Clear Statement of Black Letter Law on International Service by Mail, SCOTUSBLOG, May 23, 2017
Opinion Analysis: Court Unanimously Adopts Abuse-of-Discretion Review for District Court Decisions to Enforce EEOC Subpoenas, SCOTUSBlog, Apr. 4, 2017
Argument Analysis: The Court Dives Into Water Splash, SCOTUSBlog, Mar. 23, 2017
Argument Preview: Legal Interpretation in an Unconventional Context, SCOTUSBlog, Mar. 15, 2017
Unions are Wondering: Resist or Assist?, The Atlantic, Mar. 15, 2017
Argument Analysis: Discretion All the Way Down?, SCOTUSBlog, Feb. 22, 2017
Argument Preview: Feats of Strength & Standards of Review, SCOTUSBlog, Feb. 14, 2017
Labor in the Trump Years, 4 Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review 95 (2017)
A Cure for Just-In-Time Scheduling, JOTWELL, May 26, 2016 (review of Charlotte Alexander, Anna Haley-Lock & Nantiya Ruan, Stabilizing Low-Wage Work: Legal Remedies for Unpredictable Work Hours and Income Instability, 50 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 1 (2015))
What Would a Merrick Garland Confirmation Mean for the Future of Gig Work?, The Atlantic, May 11, 2016
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association and Why We Need Nine, ACSBLOG, Mar. 30, 2016
Does Labor’s Future Rest on Justice Scalia’s Replacement?, New Labor Forum, Mar. 23, 2016
What Will Become of Public Sector Unions Now?, The Atlantic, Feb. 16, 2016
Why Some States Want Strong Public-Sector Unions, The Atlantic, Jan. 17, 2016
The End of Public Sector Agency Fees?, ACSBLOG, Jan. 12, 2016
Another Battle in the War Over Union Fees, SCOTUSblog, Aug. 28, 2015
Friedrichs v. CTA: Union Fair Share Fees Endangered in One of Next Term’s Biggest Cases, ACSBlog, July 3, 2015
Will the Supreme Court Do More Damage To Public Sector Unions?, ACSBlog, Apr. 28, 2015
Three Lessons From the Fast Food Organizing Movement, OnLabor, Dec. 18, 2014
US Supreme Court Should Uphold Promises Made to Retirees, Justice Watch (Blog of Alliance for Justice), Nov. 13, 2014
Susan Cancelosi
Harris v. Quinn’s First Amendment Exceptionalism, OnLabor, July 15, 2014
Who Should Pay for Ideological Convictions At Work?, ACSblog, July 7, 2014
Harris v. Quinn Symposium: Decision Will Affect Workers & Limit States’ Ability to Effectively Manage Their Workforces, SCOTUSblog, July 2, 2014
Harris v. Quinn: What’s At Stake, & What’s Next?, 21 International Union Rights Journal 18 (2014)
Public Employees, Unions and the First Amendment, ACSblog, Dec. 11, 2013
Bell Labs: Derrick Bell’s Inspirational Pedagogy, 36 Seattle University Law Review xx (2013)