Angling to avoid political peril, the Obama administration Monday granted employers another delay in a heavily criticized requirement that medium-to-larger firms cover their workers or face fines.
In one of several concessions in a complex Treasury Department regulation of moe than 200 pages, the administration said companies with 50 to 99 employees will have an additional year to comply with the coverage requirement, until Jan. 1, 2016.
For businesses with 100 or more employees the requirement will still take effect in 2015. But other newly announced provisions, affecting technical issues such as the calculation of working hours, may help some of those firms.
Some major business organizations were quick to praise the administration's compromise.
"These final regulations secured the gold medal for greatest assistance to retailers, and other businesses, and our employees," said Neil Trautwein, a vice president of the National Retail Federation.