Bikini Baristas Land $500k Settlement After Lengthy Legal Battle Over Attire

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Bikini baristas in Everett, Washington fought back against big government and they won. It was a long legal battle that started when a power hungry city council overstepped its bounds.

The city council attempted to crack down on the attire of bikini baristas, because of some issues they had in the past with prostitution at some of the bikini coffee establishments. In 2017, they banned baristas from wearing certain types of clothing.

Bikini Baristas Settlement Everett
Singer Michael Starr of Steel Panther stops for coffee at bikini coffee stand Hillbilly Hotties before performing at Showbox SoDo on November 19, 2016 in Everett, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

The first win for the bikini baristas came in October 2022, when the ordinance was deemed to be unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said in his ruling, “The record shows this Ordinance was passed in part to have an adverse impact on female workers at bikini barista stands.”

“There is evidence in the record that the bikini barista profession, clearly a target of the Ordinance, is entirely or almost entirely female. It is difficult to imagine how this Ordinance would be equally applied to men and women in practice.”

That was just the beginning for the bikini baristas. The owner of Hillbilly Hotties, Jovanna Edge, and several of her employees sued the city council for violating their First Amendment rights.

Seeing the writing on the wall after being handed the loss last year, the city council decided they didn’t want to see how the lawsuit played out in court. So they settled.

This week the city council of Everett voted in favor of a $500,000 settlement. The ordinance that banned baristas from wearing certain types of clothing has been amended.

The Mayor’s Spin On This Is Incredible

Under the newly amended ordinance they’ll be allowed to continue working in minimal clothing. That’s right, bikini baristas can wear bikinis. That’s a win people can rally behind.

Baristas will also be subject to the city’s standing lewd-conduct law. Two or more violations of those laws and an establishment could cause it to be shut down.

So, basically they’re no longer punishing law abiding citizens. Both those who enjoy working at bikini coffee spots, and those who frequent them as customers.

It’s almost as if it’s a free country. This concept of going after actual crimes and not creating new rules that punish everyone is going to take a while to sink in for the folks who run Everett.

It seems like common sense to normal people, but you have to keep in mind these aren’t normal people. The mayor attempted to chalk up having the ordinance rejected and shelling out half a million dollars as a win.

Mayor Cassie Franklin actually said, “This has always been about protecting the best interest of our community and preventing exploitation.”

Imagine coming away from this after agreeing to settle a lawsuit for $500,000, on top who knows how much more in legal fees, thinking you accomplished what you set out to accomplish.

That takes a special kind of person. There was only one winner in all of this, and that is the freedom loving folks in Everett.

Written by Sean Joseph

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