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Bullies, Work Violence, and Annie Le's Murder

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Dr. Michelle Golland: Workplace violence is on the rise in our country. On an average working day, three people will be murdered on the job in the U.S. One million coworkers are assaulted, and more than 1,000 are murdered every year, according to the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Homicide is the second leading cause of death on the job, after motor vehicle accidents. What is more shocking than these statistics is the fact that half of these cases go unreported. Workplace bullying and violence must be dealt with seriously and swiftly.

anni le, robert clark III

The violence can be physical, but often it involves verbal aggression and abuse by a workplace bully. The murder of Annie Le may be the case of a workplace bully turned murderer. Even though we wish bullies would outgrow their behavior, many of them simply transfer their bully behavior to the work environment and probably at home too. The difference is that usually workplace bullies don't use their fists -- they generally use words and actions to intimidate their victims. Since the murder, the president of Yale University has said, "Yale will have a zero tolerance policy at work for harassing, violent, or threatening e-mails."

Bullies in the workplace can be challenging to deal with, especially if your supervisor is the bully. A superior's bullying behavior can be in the form of unreasonable demands, yelling at employees, or degrading remarks. It can also cross the line into harassment when the boss makes suggestive remarks, tells racist jokes, or engages in unwanted touching.

Bullying behavior by coworkers can be slightly different. This can include cyber-bullying, when hateful or hurtful e-mails are sent around to coworkers or yourself. It appears suspect Raymond Clark allegedly sent text messages to Annie Le on the day of her murder. Serial bullying is when one employee targets another employee and repeatedly harasses them. Another type of bullying is when a coworker tries to get other employees or management to be "against" another employee.

Bullying at work can include ridiculing, teasing, and humiliating the victim in front of others. Bullies are often controlling and angry individuals. They most likely have a history of verbal aggression and even physical violence against other individuals. Bullies often want to take down other coworkers that don't conform to their way of thinking. A workplace bully often subjects the victim to unjustified criticism and trivial faultfinding.

Nobody should feel intimidated or harassed at work by either a coworker or a boss. If you are being bullied at work, consider speaking to a supervisor, and if you feel you are in danger, go to the police.

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16 comments so far | Post a comment now
anonymous September 19, 2009, 7:36 AM

he wasn’t the bully.
she was.
he didn’t feel like putting up with her smug, educated attitude anymore.
she disrespected him by going around his duties and not caring a whit about what he did because apparently to her a lab technician just isn’t as important as her being a medical student.

no one deserves to be murdered, but if i had some smug little asian girl running around acting like i didn’t matter because my parents trust fund didn’t cover me studying at yale… well yeah, i’d be pissed too.

she made him feel like crap.
she should watch who she picks her battles with, just because they’re not educated doesn’t mean they’re not powerful.
i wonder how horrible he must have felt, having this girl constantly make him feel stupid and ignoring his lab cleaning work and routines.


Anonymous September 19, 2009, 8:25 AM

In response to “anonymous”: He was known in the work place as being very unkind to everyone and very demanding. There are many news reports and articles that mention his work mannerisms. She didn’t have a trust fund, but won scholarships to attend Yale. She was raised by her aunt and uncle, but her birth mother does nails. That hardly takes care of the Yale bill. It is known in her email response (to his very demanding one) that she was polite in her answers. No one really knows what happened between them in that lab room except for Annie and Clark, but I doubt very seriously that she was the bully. Looking at the situation before hand and the evidence given, that is very clear.

Peter September 19, 2009, 8:28 AM

You are talking nonsense anonymous. No compassion for the victim. This is sick.

Carol September 19, 2009, 8:51 AM

To Anonymous—- the fact that Annie took the time to see him that morning means that she respected his position and his views. That’s not a sign of a smug or a bully person! Raymond was simply envious, hateful, lazy, and the bully!

Bohemina September 19, 2009, 9:18 AM

TO “Anonymous” Posted 09/19/09 07:36 AM:
Unbelievable. So you know all of this about the victim based on what? On the fact that she was Asian? On the fact that she was a graduate student and he was not? Interesting. Smacks of hate, envy,and racism, my dear. Pure and simple. Did you realize that all of these assumptions are your own projections? Please consider doing something about your own rage and jealousy of those who achieved more than you have, before it is too late.

Tinh Le September 19, 2009, 1:27 PM

To Anonymous: I AGREE WITH YOU!!!

Yes, I feel bad that someone died from a working conflict but I’m sure she’s the bully one. Small/short people always want to be bigger and more superior to others, that’s an obvious. She probably said some remarks that he just blew up, came at her, punched her, and she came back at him with some lady’s cat fight. He stopped her from her scratching by using only his right arm to hold her back by the neck. But she kept on fighting, so he used both hand to grab her by the neck and slammed her down onto the ground. As she was down, he then screamed at her like he’s out of control and kept on holding onto her neck and continue screaming extremely loud until she ran out of breathe. Likely he collapse her vocal cord where she then died…

Something like that… But I’m sure Annie Le is a reeaaal biitch to be honest…

Anonymous September 19, 2009, 2:57 PM

Isn’t Ray Clark’s job to clean the mice cages? If the researchers have to keep the animals cages clean, then the lab doesn’t need him.

MEM September 19, 2009, 9:45 PM

I see Clark’s girlfriend has been posting here. Somebody take her in for a mental health check. The word unhinged is an understatement.

a different anonymous September 19, 2009, 11:31 PM

Back to the article…I once had a horrible workplace bully, tried to turn everyone “against” me, would reply to my comments, questions, or suggestions in meetings with an pointed loud sigh and an eye roll - you get the idea. But I couldn’t go to our ultimate supervisor, the HR manager - because she’d turned her against me too. I put in my two weeks’ notice finally and then told I was fired “with just cause so don’t try to get unemployment” - let me point out I was a mother of an infant at the time, and that I already had another job lined up so I wouldn’t file for unemployment anyway…it was just another way to intimidate me. There’s no place to go but “away” when these bullies get to that point, and in this economy, you have to just grin and bear it…perhaps that’s what poor Annie Le was trying to do. :-(

CBriggs September 20, 2009, 12:44 AM

While I doubt that Annie Le bullied this big guy, and I am shocked by the accusation, there is nothing she could have done that warranted her murder. NOTHING. I am pretty certain that he is going away for a very long time.

rusto September 20, 2009, 3:56 AM

that insane murderer should be sentenced to death penalty

qwerty September 20, 2009, 9:31 AM

Asserting that either of these people was a bully is ridiculous. It isn’t at all known what happened in that lab that ended up in violence. It also isn’t known that Le agreed to meet with Clark, only that he requested it.
A few people have come out of the woodwork to badmouth Clark — who knows how reasonable they are? Others have described him in very positive terms, and expressed shock that he could have been involved in this.
There simply isn’t enough known to be asserting any of the nonsense posted here.

JohnSmith September 21, 2009, 12:17 PM

To Anonymous 09/19 at O825: She was awarded $160,000 in scholarship money to Univ. of Rochester (her undergrad), not Yale. Just keeping the facts straight. :)

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