Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 8, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I am here today because no one should have to choose between their job and a healthy pregnancy.

It is outrageous that pregnant women in our country have been pushed out of their jobs by their employers because, as you just heard, they asked for an additional bathroom break or because their doctors say they need to avoid heavy lifting or because their employer can't be bothered to simply provide them a stool to sit down on.

It is unconscionable that people who are looking forward to welcoming a new family member are having their lives upturned or losing the paychecks they depend on to make rent or buy groceries or pay for childcare, all because their employers refuse to provide basic, commonsense, low-cost and even no-cost accommodations. We have got to do better.

That is why I am here with Senator Casey, who has been a relentless champion on this issue, to urge all of my colleagues to let us pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which is a bipartisan bill that will make sure that no one is forced to choose between a job and a healthy pregnancy and everyone can get the reasonable workplace accommodations they need when they are pregnant.

Let me be clear: This is, fundamentally, a bipartisan bill that we have worked closely with our Republican colleagues on. Senator Cassidy coleads this bill. He has been an amazing partner. It passed out of the HELP Committee overwhelmingly. It is supported by my ranking member Senator Burr, and it passed overwhelmingly on a bipartisan House vote.

There is no reason to stand in the way. We can send this to the President's desk right now.

We are really not here asking for much. This is very simple. Give pregnant workers a break, give them a seat, and give them a hand. Give them the dignity, the respect, and basic workplace accommodations that they need.

This is way overdue, and I can't think of a more commonsense, less controversial bill, and I hope that we can get it done today.