Bosses want choices, and workers want choices. Often, they don't want the same ones. But in the case of paid time off, the two parties may find common ground.

Querying companies about their time-off policies, WorldatWork, an association of HR professionals, found that policies emphasizing PTO rather than more traditional vacation/sick day models increased by 43 percent between 2002 and 2010. During that time, traditional time-off plans decreased by 24 percent.

Not only did PTOs grow in favor during that time, but those who offer them tended to enrich them by adding such allowances as bereavement time off and time off for jury duty. Three out of four included the latter by 2010.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.