State / Local Grievance Policy

Miss America Organization Licensee Grievance Policy 

Scope: Review Local & State Organization Concerns. 

Purpose: Receive and facilitate the resolution of unresolved Local and State grievances. A fair process to review and help resolve real issues of fact-based grievances which were unable to be resolved at the State Organization level. 

This does not replace your existing process for resolving local and state grievance concerns. Should a grievance remain unresolved in your state, this is another avenue for resolution. A State Organization may adopt this process if preferred, but it is not necessary to change what is already working for your organization. 

Policy & Procedure 

Grievance Notification: After unsuccessful resolution attempts with State Organization, Grievant can file an online submission to MAO’s Office of the CEO/President at

Depending on the nature of the grievance, it may be required to be turned over to legal counsel. 

Submission must include detailed attempt(s) for resolution, as well as details of the complaint along with fact-based supporting documents, including social media posts, emails, etc. 

Submission is confidential in nature and grievant must agree to it’s confidentiality and its non-disclosure of such. To properly investigate the grievance and attempt to obtain resolution, identity of grievant will be shared with the interested parties. 

Multiple grievants must file individually, however they may be bundled during the review process.

A grievance concerning a Candidate must be filed by the candidate herself.  Grievance from a parent/legal guardian will not be considered unless the candidate is under the age of 18 years of age.

Any grievance involving a local organization in the Miss America program will not be considered if the MAO state licensed organization has not had the opportunity to try and resolve the grievance.  To clarify, MAO grants a license for a state organization to operate within their respective state and it is the state organization who grants licenses to local programs.

If there were NO CLEAR AND DEMONSTRABLE ATTEMPT(S) TO RESOLVE this concern, it will not be considered. If NO CLEAR AND DEMONSTRABLE ATTEMPT(S) AT RESOLUTION with the party cited and/or the State Board of Directors, MAO will forward this grievance in its entirety to either the Individual cited, the State Organization leadership, or both without notice to garner a proper attempt at resolution through the State Organization.

Only factual, detailed, and clearly marked/labeled information that clearly supports any perceived violation or grievance will potentially be reviewed. For example, if a violation of an agreement, policy, rule, etc. is cited, the actual documentation of such must be provided. It is not the responsibility of MAO nor the potential Grievance Committee to investigate and seek additional documentation not provided.

Grievance must contain only factual details that clearly and concisely support my concern. The documentation cannot include opinions, implied interpretation, conjecture, hearsay, expressed or implied false claims, etc. It also does not require a search through myriads of unlabelled documentation to try to connect the areas of my concern.

Grievance Committee:  If Grievance is accepted for further review, a committee will review grievance. To reiterate, it is not the responsibility of MAO nor the potential Grievance Committee to investigate and seek additional documentation not provided by the grievant.

Random selection of three (3) members from MAO Licensed State Executive Directors and former State Titleholders for each occurrence. This is not a standing committee: 

Grievance against ED or volunteer – two (2) State EDs and one (1) former State Titleholder.

Grievance against Titleholder – two (2) former State Titleholder and one (1) State ED.

Selected panel is required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before proceeding. 

Grievance Committee Proceedings: After the Grievance is accepted for review and the independent panel is established, the the Grievant will be notified and the first meeting of the Committee will be held within ten (10) business days. 

Upon conclusion of its review and consideration of the Accepted Grievance, the Grievance Committee will make a recommendation with respect to possible appropriate corrective or disciplinary action to the Miss America Organization within thirty (30) days. 

The Miss America Organization will promptly consider and determine whether to accept or modify the recommendation, and provide notice to the Grievant and the relevant Licensee. 

By submitting a Grievance, the Grievant agrees to abide by the resolution process and agrees to the confidentiality and non-disclosure of the grievance, subject to any rights or remedies under applicable law and the relevant Candidate Agreement and/or State License Agreement.