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Federal court ruled against bikini baristas at Washington coffee bars

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Women serving coffee at the Hillbilly Hotties stand near Seattle might have to wear more than just bikinis after a new ruling from a federal appeals court.

“Bikini baristas” at the Everett, Washington drive-through stand might have to start covering up after years of complaints from local authorities and the case in which they alleged existing rules on what they can and can’t wear violated their first and 14th Amendment rights, according to CNN.

Local tension over the issue culminated in two ordinances passed in 2017, requiring employees wear at least a tank top and shorts and included certain clothing choices in the city’s definition of lewd conduct, prompting the owner of Hillbilly Hotties to sue.

Those ordinances will now go into effect as the decision is sent back down to a lower court.

Everett city officials celebrated the ruling, reportedly claiming there was “extensive evidence of adverse secondary effects associated with the stands, including prostitution and sexual violence.”

A previous investigation into the stands reportedly led to eight arrests in 2013 as police said the businesses served as fronts for “prostitution and lewd conduct.”

After the ruling, an attorney for the baristas told CNN they will seek next steps to keep working to defeat the ordinances.

“The baristas are seeking to exercise their right to choose their work clothing,” the attorney said. “The baristas sought to express positive messages of body confidence and female empowerment. This decision effectively tells women that the female body must be covered up and hidden, and that women must be protected from themselves.”

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