Rita Risser Chai replies:
It depends on what they said. If someone said something about her that was harassing or discriminatory based on her sex, age, race, or other protected classification, and you report it to HR, then you are protected. Telling the woman about it might—or might not—be considered protected activity also. If the comment didn’t fall into that or other legally protected categories, it may not be protected. Almost all companies are “at will” meaning they can reprimand or fire for any reason, or no reason, as long as it is not an illegal reason. If you lose money as a result of the write-up, it may be a good idea to talk to a lawyer. Good luck.
Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.