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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Uber, Lyft and others are fighting hard against a California bill that would force them to classify drivers as full employees.

What they're saying: In Lyft's case, if the bill becomes law as is, the company would have to shift to a smaller pool of full-time drivers, Lyft president John Zimmer said on Tuesday at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference in Las Vegas.

  • "You would manage a smaller population of drivers, so you would have less on-boarding costs, less background [check] costs, and you would be able to have more control over the hours and duration that someone works for you," Zimmer said.
  • He emphasized that 91% of Lyft drivers drive less than 20 hours per week for the company, which means the company would "only get a certain type of workers" who would fit this more strictly defined job.

Between the lines: In short, Lyft is telling advocates for the bill: Be careful what you wish for — the result may work out for some drivers, but it won't end well for others. Uber, Lyft, and other gig-economy companies have long responded to criticism by arguing that their workers say "flexibility" is the most important attribute of the job.

Yes, but: Zimmer said this scenario is the least likely one. Instead, he believes it's more likely that either Lyft and its peers will strike a deal with California's government over the next several months, or they will prevail in a state ballot measure challenging the bill.

What's next: The California State Assembly has already approved the bill, AB5, and the Senate is expected to hold a final vote by the end of this week. If it passes, it will head to the governor's desk.

Go deeper: A California bill could upend the gig economy

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.