Seattle's bikini baristas win legal battle to serve coffee in skimpy outfits

Seattle's bikini baristas win legal battle to serve coffee in skimpy outfits
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Bikini baristas in a Washington state city have won a legal battle allowing them to keep serving coffee in risqué outfits.

The city of Everett's dress code ordinance said that bikini baristas are supposed to cover their bodies at work, and it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.

This ruling in a partial summary judgment occurred after an extensive legal battle between bikini baristas and the city of Everett over the rights of workers to dress how they want.

The owner of the Everett bikini barista stand Hillbilly Hotties and some workers filed a legal complaint that challenged the constitutionality of the dress code ordinance.

In 2017, the city of Everett created a law requiring all employees, owners, and others of "quick service facilities" to wear garments covering both the upper and lower body.

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The ordinance highlighted coffee stands, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, food trucks, and more as examples of those quick service businesses.

The group also challenged the city's lewd conduct ordinance. However, the court dismissed all the baristas' claims but the dress code one.


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Seattle's US District Court found the city of Everett's dress code ordinance was in violation of the Equal Protection clauses of the US and Washington state constitutions.

The court also discovered that the ordinance, at least partly, was shaped by gender-based discrimination.

"The record shows this Ordinance was passed in part to have an adverse impact on female workers at bikini barista stands," said US District Judge Ricardo S Martinez.

"There is evidence in the record that the bikini barista profession, clearly a target of the Ordinance, is entirely or almost entirely female."

The court also ruled that bikini baristas were evidently a target of the ordinance, adding that the profession is majorly made up of women.

"Don't judge a book by its cover. Just because of the girls who are doing this job doesn't mean we're bad people," a bikini barista named Ivy told Fox 13.

"We all have lives outside of this; some of us are mothers, some of us go to college besides this, we're all just working and hustling like everybody else."

Fox 13 also reported that the court has directed the city of Everett to meet with the plaintiffs next month to talk about the next steps.

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