Employee Rights (3.0)

Credit Language

PA 12: Employee Rights – version 3.0


  • 12.1. Number of weeks of paid maternity leave
  • 12.2. Percentage of employees eligible for paid all-gender family/medical leave
  • 12.3. Published measures to protect employee rights

Questions & Answers

How has this credit changed between STARS Version 2 and Version 3?

This credit requires information about an institution’s maternity leave policies, family/medical leave policies, and labor and employee relations policies. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

How do we measure and assess leave policies under Indicators 12.1 and 12.2?

For both indicators, policies of and benefits provided by entities of which the institution is part (e.g., government or university system) qualify as long as they apply to and are followed by the institution. Leave that is not job-protected and leave that is compensated at less than 60 percent of regular pay in total should be excluded. Benefits may be provided by any combination of entities (e.g., government and/or institution), as long as the combined benefit meets the criteria. 

  • Indicator 12.1 (paid maternity leave) – Institutions should report on the current status of the institution’s policies and procedures. 
  • Indicator 12.2 (all-gender family/medical leave) – Institutions should report the most recent data available from within the previous three years. Provisional employees (i.e., new hires with temporarily limited access to leave), employees on short-term contracts to cover for maternity or family/medical leave, and student workers may be excluded. 

What types of whistleblower protections and freedom of association standards qualify under Indicator 12.3?

Institutions should report on the current status of the institution’s published information. The information may be published, for example, in an employee handbook or equivalent resource.

  • Examples of whistleblower protections that would qualify include protections against reprisals for reporting ethics violations, suspected violations of the law, and work-related hazards.
  • Examples of freedom of association standards and policies include affirmation of the right of workers to self-organize and/or pursue unionization, e.g., for collective bargaining purposes.

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Work with your Human Resources office or similar to collect the information requested under this credit.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • Indicators 12.1 and 12.2. Score/numeric outliers – earning full points (or close to). If a high score/percentage is reported, please review documentation provided to ensure that information on paid leave meets the criteria.  
  • Indicator 12.3. Affirmative responses must be supported by information provided in descriptive fields.

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