Employees were asking Howard Meditz, president of Marquardt & Roche/Meditz & Hackett, a marketing agency inStamford, Conn., for an additional paid holiday. But he couldn't decide which holiday to give them. Plus, Meditz worriedabout closing the office on a day when some of his clients would probably be working. His solution? A flex holiday plan. Atthe beginning of the year, the company, which reported billings of $40 million in 1998, distributes a list of 23 holidays thatincludes everything from Saint Patrick's Day to Yom Kippur. Employees can sign up to take any 11 -- and one of their choicesis a floating holiday whose date they can select. When the company hires new employees in the middle of the year, thoseemployees start off by earning one holiday for each month they have worked with the company.

The agency's 35 full-time workers now have flexibility; they don't have to dip into vacation time for, say, religious holidays.Meditz, meanwhile, doesn't have to worry about clients not being able to get help when they need it. That's because withindepartments, some employees may work on a particular holiday while others don't, ensuring that the office stays open.