A group of bikini baristas who filed a lawsuit over a new dress code banning bare skin can keep selling coffee in their skimpy outfits, thanks to a federal judge’s ruling.
“This is just another step in the progress of women’s rights,” plaintiff Jovanna Edge said in a statement Monday.
U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman extended an injunction preventing the enforcement of two new laws in Everett, Washington, while the lawsuit filed by seven baristas and the owner of “Hillbilly Hotties” in September makes it way through the court system.
What are the new laws?
In August, the Everett City Council passed two ordinances after years of struggling with regulating drive-thru stands that often employ scantily clad women, according to Seattle Times.
One law requires workers to wear tank tops and shorts, at a minimum, for employees at “quick service” restaurants, including food trucks and coffee stands, which Pechman said, “likely violated First Amendment protections of freedom of expression.”
The other law created in part because of problems with drive-thru strip clubs or brothels redefined the city’s lewd conduct law and designated a new crime of facilitating lewd conduct, according to The Washington Post.
Both ordinances are “likely void for vagueness under the 14th Amendment,” Pechman wrote.
According to Pechman, the laws “fail to provide clear guidance and raise risks of arbitrary enforcement,” Fox News reported.
“We are pleased the court affirmed these rights, especially during these currently troubling times for women in the workplace,” Jessica Newman, one of the lawyers representing the baristas, told Fox News.
What’s the problem with the bikini baristas?
In 2009, police conducted an investigation leading to the arrests of several women employed at the local coffee stands. Charges against the women included indecent exposure and prostitution.
According to The Times, the baristas allegedly charged customers $80 for erotic shows and also allowed the customers to fondle or photograph them.
While adopting the new laws, the city cited several sex offenses at bikini baristas, Fox News reported.