Richard R. Renner

Richard Renner

E-mail MeRichard R. Renner

Of Counsel since May 28, 2013. Partner since 2015.
Washington, District of Columbia
202-466-8696 (Direct Phone)
202-331-9260 (Office Phone)

RICHARD RENNER joined the firm in May 2013 and became a Partner in October 2015. He has more than 30 years’ experience representing employees in a wide range of civil rights and whistleblower cases. He has particular experience in using litigation to advance the rights of employees, consumers and immigrants.

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. As the principal of Tate & Renner in Dover, Ohio, 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.

Mr. Renner 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, 134 S. Ct. 1158 (2014). The Supreme Court accepted the case. Mr. Renner 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.

Mr. Renner was the lead author of an amicus brief in Foster v. Univ. of Md.-Eastern Shore, 787 F. 3d 243 (4th Cir 2015). Filed on behalf of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), the brief successfully argued that traditional methods of proving retaliation still apply after the Supreme Court's decision in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, 133 S.Ct. 2517 (2013).

Mr. Renner served as lead counsel for Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower Kevin Wallace and won reinstatement of his wrongful termination claim in Wallace v. Tesoro Corp., 796 F.3d 468 (5th Cir. 2015).

A December 2, 2015, New York Times story featured successful resolution of an NLRB claim by Mr. Renner and Ms. Lindsey Williams. "Whistle-Blower Group Found Itself Target of Labor Complaint," by Matthew Goldstein and Ben Protess, breaks the news about the settlement with the National Whistleblowers Center. Their press release provides a timeline with documentation about their case. Their petition drive to end NWC gag clauses has over 5,000 signers.

Mr. Renner volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Serving as a Big Brother since 2000, Mr. Renner received the Big Brother of the Year Award from Big Brothers/Big Sisters of East Central Ohio in 2004.

Mr. Renner is married to Laura Yeomans, a Parish Partners Program Manager for Catholic Charities. They have a daughter, Jennie Copeland, and granddaughter who reside in North Carolina.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Whistleblower Law
  • Discrimination and Harassment
  • Civil Rights

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • New York University School of Law, New York, New York
    • J.D. - 1981
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • S.B. - 1978
    • Major: Mathematics

Published Works

  • 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
  • Whistleblower Protection Blog, Editor, 2012
  • "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
  • "It Is Illegal To Punish Workers For Qualifying For Health Care Assistance,", KCNF Blog, 2013
  • Whistleblower Flyer for Low-Income Workers' Clinics, KCNF Blog, 2013


  • Presented "Overview of Whistleblower Protection Laws" to Reining In Retaliation & Winning Whistleblower Cases, NELA seminar, Boston, April 8, 2016.
  • Submitted comments to OSHA about their new Whistleblower Complaint form, March 18, 2013
  • Testified to District of Columbia Council Oversight Hearing on preventing wage theft, March 4, 2013
  • Submitted comments to Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, 2013-03-01, expressing concern that restrictions on discovery will disadvantage whistleblowers, March 1, 2013
  • Co-wrote amicus brief in Day v. Department of Homeland Security on behalf of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), February 28, 2013
  • Submitted comments to U.S. Department of Labor on Rules of Practice and Procedure for Hearings Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges, February 4, 2013
  • Submitted a written public comment and oral testimony to the Department of Labor's Whistleblower Protection Program Advisory Committee, January 29, 2013
  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, urging health insurance coverage for immigrants with lawful deferred status, October 21, 2012
  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on regulations for handling whistleblower complaints under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) as modified by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on regulations for handling whistleblower complaints under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CSPIA), Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA), National Transit System Security Act (NTSSA), and the Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA).
  • Presented "NTSSA Fact Sheet" on the National Transit System Security Act for the Executive Board of Local 689 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, 2010
  • Presented "Ethics in the Face of Evil" to the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) Convention, 2010
  • Submitted a report to the UN Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, on how the United States fails to comply with international human rights standards protecting whistleblowers, April 19, 2010
  • Wrote amicus brief for Ohio Supreme Court in Peters v. Columbus Steel Castings Co., 2007-Ohio-4787, protecting widows from the arbitration agreements of the spouse's employer.
  • Presented "The Most Pressing Issues in Representing Whistleblowers" to the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) Convention, 2009
  • Presented "Sarbanes-Oxley and other federal whistleblower protections " to Ohio Employment Lawyers Association, 2004
  • Presented "Informed Consent and the Obligation of Attorneys to Clients" for seminar in Akron, November 1, 1995
  • Moderated seminar on ethics, professionalism and substance abuse for Tuscarawas County Law Library, November 28, 2001
  • Presented Developments in Department of Labor Whistleblower Practice, NELA's 2013 Convention, June 26, 2013
  • Presented "Getting The Lay Of The Land: An Overview Of Whistleblower Claims" to NELA's Fall Seminar, Shining The Light On Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims, October 18, 2013, Washington, DC.
  • Co-wrote amicus brief for NELA in Hithon v. Tyson Foods, 11th Circuit Case No.13-11720-AA (pending), addressing the remedial benefits of awarding reasonable attorney's fees for victims of civil rights violations.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association

Past Employment Positions

  • National Whistleblowers Center
  • CASA de Maryland
  • Tate & Renner, Dover, Ohio

Pro Bono Activities

  • D.C. Employment Justice Center
  • Montgomery County Bar Association Pro Bono Clinic