As Uber has done countless times before, it argued in a recent NYT op-ed that the firm can’t possibly classify its drivers as employees because doing so would undermine the core feature of its business model: “flexibility.” I have argued many times myself that Uber’s argument about flexibility is nothing more than a myth; that workers – including drivers – can be classified as employees and still operate with robust flexibility. Uber has now admitted as much. In yesterday’s NYT, we learned that Uber is considering transitioning to a business model according to which it would license its brand “to operators of vehicle fleets in California.” As Veena explains in a new post, this franchise model would allow Uber to continue hiding from its responsibility to the drivers. But, there’s another critical point here: under such a licensing and franchise model, the drivers would be employees of the vehicle fleets operating under Uber’s name. So, puzzle me this: if the Uber model can function with drivers classified as employees of the fleets, why can’t it function with drivers classified as employees of Uber? The answer is the same as it has always been: employment status is completely consistent with Uber’s successful operation. The firm doesn’t want anyone to believe this because employment status would require it to transfer additional income to the drivers. But that has nothing to do with flexibility. It has everything to do with their bottom line.