If I am applying for a job should I volunteer that I was Baker Acted or Marchman Acted?
Hello, everyone! It’s Mark, and welcome to another edition of our video newsletter. In this video, I want to talk to you about disclosing a Baker Act or even a Marchman Act if you’re applying for employment.
This was a question that was asked to me by somebody who messaged me through the website. Their adult child had been Baker acted when they were minor, and they wanted to know if they should disclose that information. Let me share my thoughts on this.
The Baker Act and Marchman Act cases are, as a general rule by statute, confidential in nature. If you are looking for a job, especially if it’s with the state, local, or federal government, there’s a chance they’re going to find it. If you’re applying for a state concealed weapons permit, there’s also a very good chance they’re going to find it. Confidentiality is not absolute. The whole point of confidentiality is that the public is not going to be able to go on to the local court’s website and find private information, or if there’s a court hearing, they’re not going to be able to walk into the court hearing and listen to all your personal information. The Baker Act and Marchman Act are supposed to be confidential because they’re part of your medical file. What that means is, you have no obligation to disclose it to anyone unless you’re applying for employment, and they specifically ask you if you have ever been the subject of an involuntary commitment. It’s not that they’re trying to find out if you have a substance use disorder or a mental health issue. What they’re trying to find out is whether or not you’ll tell them the truth. Are you a liar? If I was going to hire somebody to be a paralegal in my office, I probably wouldn’t ask that question. I don’t think it’s any of my business. But more importantly, I want to know if they will tell me the truth.
If you’re looking for a job with the federal government, they will know. They want to know whether or not you’re going to be honest. Your Baker Acts and Marchman Acts are confidential in nature. I don’t think you need to disclose it to anybody because your personal medical file is nobody else’s business. But if you’re applying for a job and they are asking about it, what I can advise is to tell them the truth. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s no stigma anymore when it comes to these things. We had a president back in 2000 that was in recovery from alcoholism.
I understand that it could be embarrassing. But if you have gone through a Baker Act or Marchman Act and you’re in recovery, I tip my hat to you. Because that’s one hell of a journey and you should be applauded for that. I hope that answers the question.
If you have any more questions, I’m happy to review it. I’ll do a video for it for you and share it with everybody else so that I can continue to give all this information away for free.
With that said, if you need to chat with me, I don’t charge for consultations. Stay safe and be well.