Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Why Self-Employed Workers Need Paid Leave 
Press Release

RELEASE: Why Self-Employed Workers Need Paid Leave 

Washington, D.C. — Millions of Americans are self-employed, from freelancers and independent contractors, to entrepreneurs and small-business owners. The self-employed need time away from work just as employees do to handle pressing family and health needs but all too often, cannot afford to take it—unless there’s a paid leave program to protect them. A new CAP series details who the self-employed are, what paid leave means for them, and the state of play in federal and state policy on paid leave for this population.

The series includes:

  • Why Self-Employed Workers Need Paid Leave: This issue brief outlines why the self-employed need paid leave and how ensuring access to paid leave would expand access to entrepreneurship. Expanding access will improve the experience of individuals who are already self-employed, particularly those whose self-employment is driven by health or caregiving needs.
  • Understanding the Self-Employed in the United States: This fact sheet explores the full picture of the self-employed population in the United States, including: who are the self-employed, the demographic diversity of the population, and key groups that make up a big portion of the self-employment class. 

“Ensuring access to paid leave for all would transform the experience of self-employment and expand access to entrepreneurship. Truly universal paid leave, including for the self-employed, is the investment we need in the economy we deserve,” said Molly Weston Williamson, senior fellow and author of the series. 

Read the series: Ensuring Paid Leave for the Self-Employed by Molly Weston Williamson

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Sarah Nadeau at

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.