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Bikini baristas seek injunction against city's bare skin ban

Bikini baristas in Everett, Wash. seek injunction against city's bare skin ban (KOMO file photo)

EVERETT, Wash. - A group of bikini baristas is seeking a court injunction to prevent the city of Everett from enforcing a new dress code banning bare skin at expresso stands.

The request for an injunction was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, 10 days after the baristas filed a lawsuit against two dress code ordinances passed earlier this year by the Everett City Council.


The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claims the dress-code ordinances - which ban bare midriffs, shoulders, breasts and buttocks - violate the baristas' rights to free expression and their right to privacy. The ordinances also discriminate specifically against women, the lawsuit says.

The request for an injunction claims the ordinances are unconstitutional because they violate both the state and U.S. constitutions, violate due process rights and would do nothing to deter crime or to increase property values - which was the stated purpose of the ordinances.

The baristas also say the ordinances deprive them of the ability to earn a living in their chosen occupation.

The city of Everett said last week it would not enforce the dress code ordinances while the baristas' federal lawsuit is pending.


The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include seven baristas and an owner of a chain of bikini coffee stands, who argue that the new ordinances effectively abolish all bikini barista stands in Everett, putting women out of work or at the very least reducing their income from tips.

The ordinances require the workers to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts. It specifically requires employees at "quick service" restaurants, which also include fast food and food trucks, to adhere to the dress code.

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