Judge sides with university in employee’s suit over e-mail censorship

WISCONSIN — A U.S. District Court sided with the Universityof Wisconsin at Milwaukee, ruling that the school did not violatean employee’s First Amendment rights when censoring a quote inher e-mail messages.

Mary Pichelmann sued the university after being ordered tostop using the Gloria Steinem quote, "The truth will setyou free, but first it will piss you off," in the signatureportion of her e-mails.

The university objected to the quote, which appeared on bothpersonal and work related e-mails, because it was "inappropriate"and "vulgar," according to court documents.

Since Pichelmann was a part-time clerk for the School of AlliedHealth at the university, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa saidthe First Amendment does not necessarily allow her to use thequote. Public employees have to "yield to the public employer’sinterest in workplace efficiency and decorum," Randa saidin the decision, according to the Associated Press.

Pichelmann said she plans to appeal the decision.