Experienced Legal Counsel specializing in Education Law, Human Rights, Employment Law, Collective Bargaining, Workplace Harassment Investigations, and School Board Governance/Ethics.
Called to the Ontario Bar in 1979, Anthony Brown has served as legal counsel at the Ontario Ministry of Education, as well as two school Ontario school boards.
Prior to establishing his own law practice, he was General Counsel to the largest school board in Canada for thirteen years. He also served on the Ontario Labour Relations Board as a Vice-Chair. A published author on education law, Mr. Brown has two Master’s Degrees (in law and education).
With over twenty years of experience as in-house counsel for school boards, in addition to eight years as counsel at the Ontario Ministry of Education, Anthony Brown is highly qualified to provide accurate and pragmatic advice on a full range of legal issues that affect schools and school boards.
Education Law encompasses many different topics, including:
School boards are corporations, governed by an elected body of trustees. They employ a significant number of staff and they are major land-owners and contractors. Using a public procurement process, they enter into contracts for banking, transportation, cafeteria services, hardware, software, and other goods and services. Therefore, school boards need legal advice and representation in respect of such matters as:
School board trustees in Ontario are elected at the same time and in the same manner as municipal councillors. Trustees are governed by the Education Act and they are also required to have a Code of Conduct. A school board will also likely have governance policies setting out the roles of staff and the roles of the elected representatives. These policies are in addition to the provisions of the Education Act dealing with the roles and responsibilities of trustees, the Director of Education, Superintendents, Principals, etc.
As an experienced legal counsel who has advised and guided school boards through a significant array of procedural and substantive governance issues, Anthony Brown is well-qualified to provide advice and representation to school boards and similar organizations (municipalities, non-profit corporations, etc.) on such matters as:
Anthony Brown served as a full-time Vice-Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board from 1999 to 2002, where he decided cases under the Labour Relations Act, Employment Standards Act and other statutes.
Anthony has extensive collective bargaining experience in the public education sector, including serving as spokesperson at the bargaining table.
Employers must respond to allegations of workplace harassment in a timely and effective way.
Anthony Brown is frequently asked to investigate allegations of workplace harassment. He draws upon his extensive experience in the areas of employment law and human rights, as well as his listening skills honed as a former labour adjudicator. He produces clearly-written fact-finding reports that you and your organization can rely upon.
Anthony’s mediation and dispute resolution skills will help your organization to find solutions to resolve personality conflicts in the workplace that are causing tension and stress. He is also available to serve as a workplace coach for members of management.
All private and public sector organizations must respond appropriately to complaints about a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code, including claims of discrimination.
Complaints may come from employees, students, parents, patients, customers or the general public.
Complainants may utilize your internal human rights procedures, and may also file an application at the provincial Human Rights Tribunal.
It is vitally important for all organizations and their managers to understand their obligations under the Human Rights Code, and to know how to respond to a request for accommodation or to an allegation of discrimination on the basis of race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.
Anthony Brown can provide advice and representation to your organization in the area of human rights law and procedure, and can assist you to develop or revise your internal human rights policies. Providing an effective response to human rights issues is your legal responsibility. It will lead to a better workplace, and will also frequently avoid expensive and time-consuming litigation.