Can a volunteer be denied an opportunity based on a background check?

I’m new to this so please be gentle with me here. Let me provide some context. I work at a for-profit, that is launching a non-profit branch. Our department has outgrown the company and needs to become its own.

I’ve had the same volunteer for over a year, who has recently applied at the for-profit org as a paid employee. When HR and my manager became aware of this persons background check they denied them the opportunity to become a staff member. Which was fine, they were still volunteering doing what they love.

Now, at a recent staff meeting it was brought up. I said “I have xxx leading this project” and my manger says “they can’t do that, they can’t do anything at all after that background check.” Which is confusing because we never screened any volunteers, and the only reason we know this persons background is because they applied for a paying role.

So, how is this different? Should we be screening ALL volunteers or does this sound not right to anyone? Any feedback is welcome. Thanks!

submitted by /u/HarmReductioninOhio
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