Richard R. Renner has more than 30 years of experience representing employees in a wide range of civil rights and whistleblower cases. He has particular expertise in finding available claims among the many federal and state whistleblower protections.
Before joining KCNF, Richard founded the firm of Tate & Renner in Dover, Ohio where he represented environmental whistleblowers, victims of wage theft, consumers and immigrants. He served as Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Committee of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and twice won election to NELA’s Executive Board. He served as Legal Director of the National Whistleblowers Center.
Richard has undertaken advocacy with the U.S. Department of Labor, submitting numerous official regulatory comments on how the Department can improve its program to protect whistleblowers. He testified to the Department’s Whistleblower Protection Program Advisory Committee (WPAC) meetings in January 2013, and March 2014. The Department acknowledged his comments as the impetus for improvements in the Department’s final regulations.
He has written a series of amicus briefs addressing the scope of protection and procedural rights of corporate fraud whistleblowers under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). He co-wrote the only amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to accept the case of Lawson v. FMR LLC, 571 U.S. 429 (2014). The Supreme Court accepted the case. Richard then co-wrote the amicus brief of the National Employment Lawyers Association and the Government Accountability Project on the merits. On March 4, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision establishing that SOX protects the employees of the contractors of public companies.
Richard, together with Lindsey Williams, was featured in the December 2, 2015, New York Times article, “Whistle-Blower Group Found Itself Target of Labor Complaint.” The story broke the news of a settlement with the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) about 2012 terminations following union organizing activities. He and Lindsey launched a Coworker.org petition drive against gag clauses that now has over 5,000 signers.
Mr. Renner is a 1978 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a 1981 graduate of New York University Law School. While in law school, he volunteered to represent claimants through the Unemployment Action Center.
Bar and Court Admissions
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits
- U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
Professional Associations and Memberships
- DC Jobs with Justice Steering Committee
- National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), Member
- Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association MWELA), Member
- Women’s Bar Association (WBA), Member
- “Congress needs to update protections for workplace-safety whistleblowers,” letter to the Washington Post, May 6, 2020.
- “Pandemic Whistleblowing for Federal Employees,” KCNF Blog, April 23, 2020
- “Pandemic reveals a hole in our web of whistleblower protections,” KCNF Blog, April 7, 2020
- “Labor X Tech: Know Your Rights!,” for the Tech Workers Coalition, November 21, 2019.
- “Most Legal Claims Have Time Limits,” a table of over 100 federal anti-retaliation provisions
- Lead author of NELA amicus brief in Howe v. City of Akron, 2013
- Blowing the Whistle, a letter to the editor, Scientific American, December, 2010
- A Union Victory at Case Farms web page article, 2007
- “Federal Environmental Whistleblower Complaints,” in Employee Rights Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 29-34, Summer, 2002
- Presented Overview of Whistleblower Laws, American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Conference, November 9, 2013, in New Orleans, 2013
- Whistleblower Flyer for Low-Income Workers’ Clinics, KCNF Blog, 2013
- Presenter, “Employment Protections for Federal Health and Safety Whistleblowers,” for AFGE Local 17, October 25, 2022.
- Co-presenter, “Contagious Enthusiasm: Employment Protections for COVID Whistleblowers,” for the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), July 15, 2020 and the Cleveland Employment Lawyers Association, December 4, 2020.
Honors and Awards
- Included in Best Lawyers® The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law – Individuals in 2022 and 2023
- Recognized by Super Lawyers since 2014