A little known provision in the National Labor Relations Act  provides protection to employees when they discuss "terms and conditions" of employment.  The discussion must be between two or more employees.  The purpose of this provision (remember, the NLRA was passed in 1935) was to protect employees who may be forming a union.  But, for workers today, it means you can discuss issues in the workplace if they truly relate to problems at work.  It does not matter that the discussions may not lead to the creation of a union.  So, for example, several years ago, there was a case where female employees discussed possible sex harassment at work.  The court found that was protected conduct.  They should not have been disciplined for those discussions. 

So, what does "terms and conditions" mean?  What topics will be protected discussion?  In general, the topic needs to apply to more than one employee.  But, if you are not sure, contact the National Labor Relations Board.  The NLRB enforces the NLRA.  The NLRB is very helpful.