At Nordson Corp., in Amherst, Ohio, you don't have to be sick to take sick leave. Nordson, a $126-million manufacturer of spray guns and adhesive application equipment, offers a "family illness" benefit for employees who have live-in dependents. Under the program, salaried employees can take days off to care for an ill child, spouse, or parent. Time allowed off ranges from 5 to 22 days, depending on the employee's tenure with the company.

Norton Satz, Nordson spokesperson, says the perquisite has been a factor in the company's "extremely low" turnover rate, and reduces the stress of having to cope with both job and domestic responsibilities.