Emond Harnden has built an extensive practice in the education sector which includes clients such as school boards, private schools, community colleges and universities in various provinces and territories. By representing a variety of educational institutions, we have developed a superior understanding of legal issues that are unique to the education sector. School boards and other clients in the field of education can rely on a team of lawyers well versed in civil litigation, administrative law and labour relations.
Our education team is particularly well-versed in the law dealing with the organization and operation of educational institutions. We provide legal advice on the interpretation of governing statutory authorities including the Education Act and its regulations.
Our expertise extends to numerous areas of law that may arise in the education sector, including but not limited to the following:
- Safety in schools
- Special education
- Student discipline, including suspension or expulsion hearings
- Privacy rights including issues relating to the Ontario Student Record
- Academic freedom
- Equity and inclusion
- Conflicts relating to child custody and access
- School board by-laws or administrative guidelines
We also assist our clients to remain in compliance with human rights legislation and provide assistance in the development of human rights policies, design and delivery of training programs. Members of the firm have acted as counsel before human rights adjudicators and courts in the event of a complaint by employees or in instances where there is alleged discrimination against students by failing to provide the proper accommodations with respect to special needs programs. We provide our clients with cost-effective and successful resolution of formal and internal human rights complaints.
Members of the firm have dealt with the study and development of legal strategies to incorporate successful corporate governance structures for our education sector clients. We provide legal advice on governance and administrative issues such as review of procedures for boards and committees to clearly demonstrate their respective roles, responsibilities and duties. Members of the firm also advise with respect to conflicts of interest and trustee liability.
Human Resources Law
The firm represents education sector employers in a wide range of matters relating to labour and employment law. Our lawyers have litigated ground breaking cases in labour arbitration and judicial proceedings involving collective agreement interpretation, discipline of teaching staff, academic freedom and disputes over working conditions. Members of the firm advise on the development of internal policies and procedures and provide training of staff on such subjects as documentation, progressive discipline and issues involving custody of and access to pupils.
Education Law alerts
Our Education Law email alerts are intended to provide school board administrators and human resources officials with up-to-the minute information about significant cases and other developments in the education law field.