Everett baristas can keep wearing those bikinis — for now

The city says it won’t enforce a new dress code until a judge rules on a lawsuit challenging the law.

EVERETT — The city of Everett says it won’t enforce new rules on bikini baristas while the coffee workers’ federal civil rights lawsuit is pending.

Both sides are expected to argue their points in U.S. District Court in Seattle next week. Paperwork was filed Friday, signed by both parties, that says the city will hold off until a judge can offer guidance on the proposed injunction.

In the lawsuit, a group of baristas say their First Amendment rights and other constitutional protections would be violated by the city’s new dress code. It requires more coverage for employees of certain restaurants, including coffee stands. The baristas say their business model and earnings would be harmed if they complied.

The city has until Oct. 30 to respond to the lawsuit in writing. “We are confident that the city will prevail and the ordinances will be upheld,” spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said Friday.

The dress code, approved in August, requires baristas to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts. It was aimed at “bikini” stands, where stickers and pasties are often part of the uniform.

The lawsuit says baristas would be subjected to humiliating inspections to measure their breasts and buttocks. They also say the legislation unfairly targets women.

The attorneys representing the plaintiffs could not be reached for this story.

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