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We’ve compiled a list of the 100 most commonly asked questions we have received on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
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This report, "Top 100 FLSA Q&As", is designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA overtime regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for bringing your workplace into compliance in an affordable manner.

At the end of the report, you will find a list of state resources on wage and hour issues. This report includes practical advice on topics such as:
  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave

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June 24, 2008
Time off May Be the Biggest Benefit
There are two things to keep in mind about employees and vacations:
  • First, many employees, 68% of them according to one survey, say the benefit they most value is time off.
  • Second, recent data reveals that more than 415 million vacation days went unused in 2006.

Americans work hard, and they like to play hard. Most employers recognize the value of time off and make ample vacation days available to employees. Work/life balance programs continually strive to help employees stay fresh and focused, and most report that they appreciate these perks.

As employers get creative with programs and benefits, you should think about the intersection of the two points just mentioned. How can you encourage employees to use their much needed and well-deserved vacations?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than one-fourth of human resources professionals surveyed buy trips or components of trips to reward or provide incentive to employees. Employees who are refreshed from a relaxing vacation are often better able to focus on the job when they return. And when they can see that their employer values their efforts on the job, they may even be more loyal.

Travel is a benefit that merits a huge "wow" factor. In its survey, conducted in September 2007, SHRM found that companies use travel for a variety of reasons. Nearly half (45%) of the 378 companies responding said travel is used in their companies as a way to recognize a specific accomplishment, while 31% used a lottery or drawing to award travel.

Individual performance was recognized through a travel incentive in 19% of the companies, and department or company performance was rewarded in 16% of the companies. Eligibility for travel incentives was generally open to all employees (46%). Some companies reserve eligibility for managers only (14%), salaried employees who are not managers (13%) or executives and upper managers only (12%). Hourly employees (12%) and sales employees (6%) were eligible in some companies.

Travel incentives don't have to cost a lot to generate a lot of employee excitement and appreciation. One-third of survey respondents said they give travel awards of $250 or less. Another one-third spends $1,501 or more, while the remaining third spends somewhere in between. Also, employers often buy air travel, hotel rooms, cruise packages, or tickets to special activities or events. A small minority of companies offer access to properties the company already owns in desirable destinations.

However you decide to shape your employee travel award program, you should consider your particular group of employees and what you want to accomplish with it.

Getting Help with Starting Programs

An employee travel rewards program doesn't need to be complicated, and there are many companies out there willing to help you plan the perfect program. For example, you can offer trips to the Beijing Olympic Games, bull-riding excursions, or NASCAR trips through Premier Sports Travel (

Premier believes that travel rewards and incentives are likely to be remembered long after the trip is over--and long after a cash award would have been spent. CTM Incentives ( offers a variety of travel programs, from weekend getaways to all-inclusive Mexican Riviera packages.

The company website guides readers through the process of creating an incentive or rewards travel package, by asking who, what, when and why, and advises keeping the program simple.

Elite Incentive Travel ( says that cash awards are often seen by employees as part of their take-home pay. Travel, on the other hand, is appreciated as something special.

Grand Incentives ( offers a program that, through payroll deductions, allows employees to save toward an annual vacation at the level they choose, and provides for discounts at particular destinations. All of these companies and many more, are great places to start researching your travel incentive or award program.

For a Limited Time receive a FREE Compensation Special Report on the "Top 100 FLSA Q&As," designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA Overtime Regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for FLSA Coverage, Salary Level, and Deductions from Pay. Download Now
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