Federal judge rules in favor of bikini baristas over dress

Law Firm News

A Washington city’s dress code ordinance saying bikini baristas must cover their bodies at work has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.

The decision in a partial summary judgment this week comes after a lengthy legal battle between bikini baristas and the city of Everett over the rights of workers to wear what they want, the Everett Herald reported. Everett is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Seattle.

U.S. District Court in Seattle found Everett’s dress code ordinance violated the Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. and Washington state constitutions. The Court found that the ordinance was, at least in part, shaped by a gender-based discriminatory purpose, according to a 19-page ruling signed by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez.

It is difficult to imagine, the court wrote, how the ordinance would be equally applied to men and women in practice because it prohibits clothing “typically worn by women rather than men,” including midriff and scoop-back shirts, as well as bikinis.

Bikini baristas were “clearly” a target of the ordinance, the court also ruled, adding that the profession is comprised of a workforce that is almost entirely women.

In 2017, the city enacted its dress code ordinance, requiring all employees, owners and operators of “quick service facilities” to wear clothing that covers the upper and lower body. The ordinance listed coffee stands, fast food restaurants, delis, food trucks and coffee shops as examples of quick service businesses.

The owner of Everett bikini barista stand Hillbilly Hotties and some employees filed a legal complaint challenging the constitutionality of the dress code ordinance. They also challenged the city’s lewd conduct ordinance, but the court dismissed all the baristas’ claims but the dress code question.

The court directed the city of Everett to meet with the plaintiffs within 14 days to discuss next steps.

Related listings

  • St. Louis Professional License Attorney

    St. Louis Professional License Attorney

    Law Firm News 07/14/2022

    As a professional in the State of Missouri, state certification or professional licensure is as critical to your career as your education. Many professions, including physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, administrators, CPAs, real estate profes...

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court adopts GOP-drawn legislative maps

    Wisconsin Supreme Court adopts GOP-drawn legislative maps

    Law Firm News 04/20/2022

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday adopted Republican-drawn maps for the state Legislature, handing the GOP a victory just weeks after initially approving maps drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.The court reversed itself after the U.S. Supreme Co...

  • International Criminal Court to probe abuses in Venezuela

    International Criminal Court to probe abuses in Venezuela

    Law Firm News 11/09/2021

    The International Criminal Court is opening a formal investigation into allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings committed by Venezuelan security forces under President Nicolás Maduro’s rule, the first time a country in Latin Am...

Grounds for Divorce in Ohio - Sylkatis Law, LLC

A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
• Fraudulent contract
• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
• Procurement of a divorce outside this state by the other party

Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.