Family of cutout people. s more states join the PFML fold, employers with employees located in more than one state (including remote workers) may be required to update their plans more frequently than normal. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Life happens. Whether it’s becoming a new parent, a caregiver for an ailing family member or other similar event, having the flexibility to take extended time off from work is an important benefit for which millions of U.S. workers do not qualify for paid time off. While the Family Leave Medical Act of 1993 provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off, the stress between upholding family obligations and losing income is taking a toll on employees’ health and financial wellness as well as their employers in the form of lower morale.

According to LIMRA, 77 million Americans ages 18 to 64 identify as unpaid family caregivers, with about 80 percent of that population working full-time. Additional research shows that while more women are choosing to become mothers, they are also increasing time spent at work and on child care. Men are also under obligatory stress, with 76 percent of new fathers only taking one week of paternity leave.

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