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Report: Everett bikini baristas can dress as they like for now

A barista at a Grab-N-Go Bikini Hut espresso stand holds money as she waves to a customer, just outside Everett. The proprietor of the Grab-N-Go was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor after he employed a 16-year-old girl at his stands. Prosecutors said his business model relied on the baristas performing lewd shows. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Everett’s bikini baristas scored a win in court Monday, as a judge halts the city’s ban on their attire while the case moves forward.

RELATED: Bikini barista argues against Everett’s coffee stand rules

The Seattle Times reports that U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said that Everett’s ordinance imposing a dress code on bikini baristas is “likely vague” and violates the 14th Amendment as well as the First Amendment. She allowed an injunction on the city’s rules for the coffee stands. The baristas can continue to wear what they wish as the case continues in court.

A First Amendment violation would mean the city infringed upon the baristas’ freedom of expression. A 14th Amendment violation would mean that the city unevenly enforced the law, targeting women.

“Without a preliminary injunction, Plaintiffs will be deprived of their constitutional rights,” Pechman wrote in a 13-page order. “On the other hand, the City will face no serious injustice if the injunction continues. The court sees no reason why it cannot continue to do so pending resolution of this action on the merits.”

Everett passed two ordinances in August that regulated what the baristas can wear, essentially limiting them to a tank top and shorts. A stand could be shut down for violating the rules. An owner of a bikini coffee stand chain — Hillbilly Hotties — and seven baristas have since sued the city over the ordinances.

Their lawsuit states: “Just like Starbucks with green aprons, UPS with brown trucks and outfits, and Hooter’s with short-orange shorts, the baristas’ attire evokes a message at work … freedom, empowerment, openness, acceptance, approachability, vulnerability and individuality.”

Everett’s coffee stand regulations came after criminal investigations into some bikini barista stands. An owner of several stands pleaded guilty to felony charges of promoting prostitution and money laundering.

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