Legislation Legal  
&
Former Wausau Employee Files Lawsuit;  
Company Says Claims Have No Merit  
former Wausau Window and during his employment, he “became a number of federal and state agencies  
Wall Systems employee has sued aware that Wausau Window had been that have thoroughly investigated his al-  
the company, alleging it supplied using materials in its window frames legations and decided not to pursue any  
products using “non-compliant materi- and bolts that did not meet the re- of them.Wausau Window and Wall Sys-  
als”to multiple projects,and that he was quired specification pertaining to ma- tems products are safe,and we take pride  
fired for raising the concern with man- terial strengths, specifically alloys and in the rigorous processes we have in  
agement. The company’s leadership has temper.” He claims the “non-compliant place to ensure conformance with spec-  
refuted the allegations and asserts they materials created a significant safety ifications to meet customer and project  
A
will be challenged in court.  
Michael P.Opela Sr.was employed by did not meet code required loads.”  
Wausau Window from December 2013 Jim Waldron, president of Wausau leading windows and curtainwall that  
risk to the end-user, as the materials needs. For more than 60 years, Wausau  
has produced high-quality, industry  
to December 2014 as a structural en- Window, told USGlass magazine in a meet and exceed job-specific require-  
gineer manager, according to a lawsuit statement that though the company ments.We are actively involved in indus-  
filed in the Western District Court of doesn’t typically comment on pend- try associations helping to lead building  
Wisconsin.He named Wausau Window, ing lawsuits, Opela Sr.’s “allegations are code and specification improvements.”  
as well as its parent company Apogee without merit, and they are not new.”  
In the most recent complaint, Opela  
Enterprises and other affiliates, as de- Waldron added that Opela Sr.“has pre- Sr. says in 2014 he informed his super-  
fendants. He says in the complaint that viously made these same allegations to visor, Gene Pagel,“that he had become  
aware that Wausau Window had been  
using non-compliant materials in its  
products,” which “created a real and  
substantial risk of injury or death to  
the consumer and public; and that  
the use of non-compliant materials  
in these products reduced [the com-  
pany’s] costs for a product that failed  
to comply with applicable OSHA and  
other codes which then resulted in  
Apogee overstating their income and  
defrauding investors.”  
He claims that he brought up the  
issue with other members of company  
management, including Waldron, and  
that he was fired for “allegedly not  
disclosing [a] previous employer to  
Wausau Window.” Opela Sr. appealed  
his termination and on the grounds  
that he was fired for raising the issue of  
alleged “non-compliant materials.”  
The defendants are expected to re-  
spond formally, and until then, Wal-  
dron said Wausau “will not comment  
further on this pending litigation, pur-  
suant to our policy, and looks forward  
to its day in court.”  
AEC Files New Scope  
Clarification Request  
he Aluminum Extruders Council  
(
AEC) filed a new scope clarifica-  
T
tion case against China Zhongwang  
Holdings Limited and its network of af-  
filiates. The request asks the Depart-  
ment of Commerce (DOC) to expand its  
determination last December regarding  
Zhongwang’s alleged pallets to expressly  
cover alleged pallets constructed out of  
6xxx aluminum alloy.  
In early December 2016, the DOC declared that Zhongwang’s pal-  
lets consist of aluminum extrusions made of 1xxx alloy, cut-to-length and  
welded together in the form of a pallet and plainly subject to the exist-  
ing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum extrusions  
from China.  
Since that time new information has developed that confirms that Zhong-  
wang’s alleged pallets are also made of 6xxx aluminum alloy,” according to  
the AEC. The council is asking the DOC “to expand its finding to clarify that  
the same fake pallets that Zhongwang imports and that are made of 6xxx  
aluminum alloy are also within the scope of the orders.”  
24  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | April 2017  
www.usglassmag.com  
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Congress Acts to Block  
Blacklisting” Rule  
have to compete with those who do  
not. The regulations and guidance …  
Congress has passed legislation seek to ensure a level playing field for  
blocking implementation of the Obama contractors and workers alike.”  
Administration’s controversial “black-  
Congress used the CRA to nullify  
listing” rule. The U.S. Senate passed the rule. Under the CRA, Congress  
the Congressional Review Act (CRA) may pass a resolution of disapproval to  
resolution, which was approved by the prohibit a federal agency from imple-  
House of Representatives in February. menting a rule without congressional  
Implementation of the rule, under authorization with a majority vote in  
the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Exec- both houses.  
utive Order 13673,would have required  
“Congress has taken an important  
companies seeking federal contracts step in removing burdensome and du-  
to disclose past determinations and plicative reporting requirements and  
pending accusations of labor law vio- eliminating a costly barrier to entry  
lations. The first phase of implementa- that would have discouraged many  
tion of the requirements was scheduled small contractors from bidding on  
for October 25 for bids valuing $50 government contracts,” Brubeck said  
million or more. When fully put into in a statement. “ABC looks forward to  
action, subcontractors, such as glaziers working with the Trump administra-  
bidding on jobs worth $500,000 or tion and Congress to improve the fed-  
more, would be subject to the rule.  
eral government’s existing suspension  
However, a U.S. District Court in Oc- and debarment system, which already  
tober ruled the policy would violate requires contractors to report viola-  
federal contractors’ due process rights tions, as well as to ensure contracts are  
by treating non-adjudicated and often bid through a process that encourages  
nefarious and frivolous pre-adjudicated competition from all qualified con-  
claims of violations the same as actual tractors while protecting the American  
wrongdoing,”according to Ben Brubeck, workforce and taxpayers’ investment.”  
vice president of regulatory, labor and  
The Associated General Contractors  
state affairs at Associated Builders and of America (AGC) also supports the  
Contractors (ABC), which was the cen- CRA resolution. Stephen Sandherr, the  
ter of a lawsuit fighting the regulation.  
association’s CEO,said Congress“wisely  
The Obama administration issued voted to preserve the integrity and fair-  
the regulations in August 2016.  
value for taxpayers in a way that is  
ness of the federal contracting process”  
Federal contracts should deliver in voting to repeal the blacklisting rule.  
“This measure … would have al-  
consistent with our nation’s values,” lowed government officials to debar, or  
then-U.S. secretary of labor Thomas E. blacklist, construction companies from  
Perez said at the time.“Contractors that bidding on federal projects based on the  
illegally cut corners at the expense of mere allegation of labor law violations  
their workers should not benefit from without any due process,” he said in a  
taxpayer-funded federal contracts. At statement.“To be clear, there should be  
the same time, employers who meet no place in federal contracting for un-  
their legal responsibilities should not safe or unscrupulous firms. s  
Aluflam North America  
562-926-9520  
aluflam-usa.com  
www.usglassmag.com  
April 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
25  

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