Before coming to the Labor Center, Sarah was the Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington. She was also an adjunct faculty member teaching classes on labor research and women and work. In the mid-1990s, she was a graduate student in the Program in American Studies at the University of Minnesota, where she was also an instructor and an organizer with the Graduate Student Organizing Congress, an affiliate of the NEA/AFT. After leaving graduate school she became a field representative with the University Professional and Technical Employees (Local 9119 of the Communication Workers of America) in San Francisco, and in 2002 moved to Seattle to work as a researcher with Service Employees International Union Local 925. She joined the Labor Center staff in 2007 as the Labor Educator for Union and Community Women, and became the Director in 2010.