I think the government wants to make sure that people—particularly young people—are not exploited. We don’t want people to be “volunteering” their labor in a way that profits an employer. It’s an easy avenue to exploitation, even easier where there’s a suggestion that you’ll get a job at the end of it. A second policy is not to have free labor—what used to be slave labor—replacing paid and tax-paying adult labor. Without these laws, a studio owner could decide to replace a paid studio manager with a few unpaid interns, and we don’t want that: having someone drawing unemployment, or worse yet going on welfare, when he or she is willing to work.
— New York attorney Alan Koral