Governing: Forty years ago, Congress amended civil rights law to cover pregnant women, giving them federal protection against being fired, reassigned, docked pay or denied benefits based on their condition. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 required employers to allow women who are pregnant the same leaves of absence they’d give an employee on leave for sickness or disability.
It was a landmark piece of legislation. But it hasn’t stood up very well in an era when many more women are in the workplace. For one thing, it doesn’t apply to businesses with fewer than 15 employees. It’s also full of loopholes.