Exclusions and Competing Rights in Schools

Educators and school boards have an obligation to provide every student with meaningful and equitable access to an education while taking reasonable measures to keep all students and staff safe from foreseeable harm. To that end, students with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation in their learning environments. But what happens when the behaviour of these students creates safety issues for themselves, other students and school staff? How can special educators and administrators deal with these increasingly common occurrences while managing the competing rights of both students and staff under the Education Act, Human Rights Code and Occupational Health and Safety Act?

Stephanie J. Savoni

Stephanie Savoni is counsel to Hicks Morley in its Toronto office, and has been working in the field of workplace safety and insurance law for over 21 years. Her practice has been dedicated exclusively to representing employers in workplace safety and insurance law matters for the past 18 years.

Ontario Human Rights Commission Strategic Plan and the Right to Read

On January 17, 2023, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released a new strategic plan for 2023 to 2025, entitled Human Rights First: A plan for belonging in Ontario. It centres around five priorities which include Indigenous reconciliation, the criminal justice system and the education system. In this School Board Update, we focus on the OHRC’s priorities with respect to the education system.

Beyond COVID-19: 2022 Year in Review – Cases and Legislation of Note

Employers and human resource professionals will undoubtedly remember 2022 as another year shaped by the pandemic.

But…there were also legal developments in 2022 that were not related to COVID-19. In this FTR Now, we look at some of the past year’s notable “non-pandemic” cases and legislative developments.

Can There Be a Central Arbitration Over Local Terms? The Divisional Court Weighs In

The Ontario Divisional Court recently dismissed an application for judicial review of a preliminary arbitration decision in which Arbitrator Steinberg concluded that he lacked jurisdiction over aspects of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association’s (OECTA) grievance alleging violations of the preparation, planning and supervision (PPS) provisions of the collective agreement. He determined that the PPS…

Ontario Repeals Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, 2022

On November 14, 2022, the Ontario government tabled and passed Bill 35, Keeping Students in Class Repeal Act, 2022, which repeals Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, 2022 and deems it never to have been in force. Bill 35 states that the collective agreements that were deemed to be in operation under subsection 5(1)…

Significant Legislation Impacting Ontario’s School Board Sector Receives Royal Assent

As we previously reported, the Ontario government introduced Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, 2022 (Bill 28) on October 31, 2022. On November 3, 2022, Bill 28 received Royal Assent and is now law. As a result, it creates collective agreements between school boards and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) with terms…

Ontario Tables Significant Legislation Impacting School Board Sector

On October 31, 2022, the Ontario government introduced Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, 2022 (Bill 28 or the Bill) which, if passed, would enact and implement new central terms for collective agreements between the Council of Trustees’ Associations and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). These collective agreements would have a term…

Recent Case of Note from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

Welcome to our newest edition of the School Board Update. In this Update we review a recent decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal) concerning allegations of discrimination with respect to educational services because of sex and gender identity contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code). We hope you find this summary…

Cosimo Morin

Cosimo advises employers on a wide range of labour, employment and human rights matters including grievance arbitrations, employment litigation, labour disputes and workplace accommodation.