Their days of wearing pasties while slinging pastries may be numbered.
Bikini-clad baristas serving cups of joe in a Washington city could soon be covering up following a Wednesday federal appeals court ruling.
A three-judge panel on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s ruling that blocked the city of Everett from imposing an ordinance requiring a more conservative dress code.
A group of seven women, known as “Bikini Baristas,” and their boss at drive-through coffee shop chain Hillbilly Hotties originally filed the suit against the city claiming the ordinances violate their First Amendment rights to free expression and privacy.
US District Judge Marsha Pechman had initially ruled in their favor, imposing an injunction that enabled the baristas to continue nearly uncovered while their suit is heard in court.
Jovanna Edge, a co-owner of five Hillbilly Hotties stands, has argued the uniforms’ First Amendment value by claiming they let employees “expose messages through tattoos and scars” and “open conversations that attract customers willing to pay more at my business than other coffee stands.”
The federal judges in Wednesday’s ruling disagreed with that notion, saying wearing risque attire — sometimes as little as pasties or a G-string — while selling coffee doesn’t constitute free speech protected by the First Amendment.
Edge said she will appeal Wednesday’s decision.