SEATTLE (CN) – Bikini baristas in the Washington state city of Everett can continue wearing their signature skimpy outfits while their challenge of the city’s new dress code for restaurant workers is litigated, a federal judge ruled Monday.
Two ordinances approved by the Everett City Council in August requiring employees of “quick-service” restaurants to wear at least shorts and a tank top, and restricting how much of a woman’s breast can be publicly exposed, are likely unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman wrote in her approval of a preliminary injunction.
“The court finds that the citywide ordinance and the dress code ordinance are likely void for vagueness under the Fourteenth Amendment. The term ‘bottom one-half of the anal cleft’ is not well-defined or reasonably understandable, and the ordinances otherwise fail to provide clear guidance and raise risks of arbitrary enforcement. The court finds that the dress code ordinance likely violates plaintiffs’ right to free expression under the First Amendment,” Pechman wrote.
The baristas will be deprived of their constitutional rights without the injunction, but “the city will face no serious injustice if the injunction issues,” Pechman wrote.
“This is just another step in the progress of women’s rights,” plaintiff Jovanna Edge said in a statement.
Seven bikini baristas and a stand owner sued the city in September claiming violation of their rights of expression, due process and privacy.
Everett delayed implementing the changes until Pechman ruled on the injunction request. Further proceedings in the case have not been scheduled.