EVERETT — The city has taken its first step in trying to overturn a federal judge’s temporary ban on a dress code for bikini baristas.
Attorneys for the city last week filed a brief in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for the ban to be lifted.
They contend U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman erred in ruling that it was unconstitutional for the city to require coffee stand employees to cover up at work. Among other things, the 66-page brief argues that the judge was wrong in suggesting that the rules were vague in describing what body parts can’t be on display. They also said the judge failed to consider evidence that the stands are adult-oriented businesses with associated crime problems.
The city wants to require workers in coffee shops and other quick-service restaurants to at minimum dress in tank tops and shorts. Bikini stand owners and their employees argued the dress code puts their civil rights at risk.
Although the term “bikini” gets applied to the stands, many of the workers wear little more than pasties and g-strings, the city noted in its pleading. It also pointed to evidence showing key players in pioneering the businesses here had documented ties to people involved in prostitution and organized crime.