Topline: A California labor bill, set to pass this week, would force Uber and Lyft to treat their drivers as full-time employees instead of independent contractors.
What to watch for: Whether Uber and Lyft make good on their threat to spend $90 million on securing an exemption for drivers if the bill is passed. Other professions, such as nail salon technicians, real estate agents and dog groomers, successfully created exemptions in the bill to continue being classified as independent contractors.
Surprising fact: A 2018 report by the Federal Reserve found that gig workers struggle financially—58% of such workers surveyed by the Fed would not be able to cover a $400 emergency expense.
Key background: The bill was introduced in December 2018 by California Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, following a state Supreme Court decision earlier in the year that set new standards for employee classification. And California often sets the example on progressive policies, like environmental regulation, for the rest of the country. Multiple Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris, have also expressed support for the bill.