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Oklahoma's first female Commissioner of Labor passes away

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December 26, 2013

By Garrett Fortin


Brenda Reneau, a former long-serving Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, passed away on December 5.[1] She served in that position from 1995 to 2007 and won recognition for winning court battles relating to federal prevailing wage laws and pushing for controversial right-to-work legislation.[2] Reneau also worked to improve workplace safety by partnering with Oklahoma employers.[3]

Reneau was the first woman to be elected Labor Commissioner in Oklahoma and one of the first women elected to a state-wide office, along with Governor Mary Fallin.[1] A Republican, Reneau worked to save money by investigating abuses of prevailing wage laws in Oklahoma. She won a case in front of the Oklahoma Supreme Court that overturned the state prevailing wage law and testified in Congress about her work on the issue.[1]

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