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Axios CEO Jim Vandehai (l) and Lyft Chief Policy Officer Anthony Foxx. Photo: Axios

In one of his first interviews since ride-sharing companies won its court order delay in California, Lyft's Chief Policy Officer Anthony Foxx tells Axios that drivers "don't want to be employees and want more flexibility."

The big picture: An appeals court in California Thursday granted Uber and Lyft a stay on an injunction that would have forced the companies to reclassify drivers as employees.

What he's saying: "We’re focused on what our drivers want and what they really want is independence plus benefits," Foxx said on Friday during an Axios virtual event on the Future of Transportation & COVID-19.

  • "Policymakers are finding themselves with an old toolset that doesn’t quite adapt to the 21st century and what we need is a new toolbox so to speak sot hat we can make all work meaningful whether it’s employment or whether it’s independent contracting and this moment represents an opportunity to do that."

The other side: California attorney general Xavier Becerra, who filed the lawsuit the resulted in the injunction, tweeted this week: "Companies can both classify their workers as employees and continue fostering the innovation that we deeply value as a state. For any company to suggest otherwise is a false choice."

Lyft sponsored Friday's event.

Watch here.

Go deeper

Lyft touts California ballot victory amid mixed Q3 results

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Lyft posted a much larger loss than analysts expected, though it beat revenue estimates, in its third quarter results reported Tuesday. But on a call with analysts, the company pointed to its recent legislative victory in California and the potential it sees in expanding its foray into delivery as signs of better times ahead.

Why it matters A week ago, Lyft and other gig companies got California voters to back a ballot proposal that cements their drivers' status as independent contractors, which is central to the companies' business models.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
2 hours ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months: