Semi-nude ‘bikini baristas’ too lewd, rules Washington State appeals court
The lattes weren’t the only hot item at this Washington State coffee store.
“Bikini baristas” at Hillbilly Hotties in Everett, Wash., must flash a less skin after a federal appeals court upheld a ruling requiring more clothes to be worn by the women while serving coffee.
The owner of the drive-up coffee chain and five baristas sued the city of Everett, after two ordinances passed in 2017 requiring them to cover up. The city passed the ordinances after nearly 40 complaints from citizens.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle ruled 3-0 against the coffee chain, Reuters reported. That means the previous ordinances stand and the women will be required by law to wear more than a bikini while serving customers.
While the women argued the way they dress is a form of female empowerment, the court countered saying that the attire they wear is “significantly more revealing than a typical bikini" and that some employees wear nothing more than pasties over their breasts and g-strings, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The baristas who took issue with the laws claimed they were too vague to enforce, but the appeals court wrote that “a person of ordinary intelligence reading the ordinance in its entirety will be adequately informed about what body areas cannot be exposed or displayed.”
“All an officer must determine is whether the upper body (specifically, the breast/pectorals, stomach, back below the shoulder blades) and lower body (the buttocks, top three inches of legs below the buttocks, pubic area and genitals) are covered," the court wrote.