In addition, NY Times also suggested that many students and graduates from poorer backgrounds simply cannot afford to work unpaid compared to those with a means to support themselves.
In an increasingly competitive job market, internships have become crucial for graduating students or people looking to change careers. In some professions (especially the arts and the world of nonprofits), the unpaid internship is nothing new. But as unpaid internships mushroom in the for-profit world of business, government officials need to step in and ensure that interns aren't being exploited.
Some of these unpaid internships violate federal workplace laws: They displace regular employees, fail to pay interns who should be paid, and don't provide "educational benefits" for those who are legally allowed to work for free.
To put it bluntly: For some employers, the internship has become about taking advantage of free labor rather than a mutually beneficial exchange of work and training for employers and students.
Volunteering for non-profits and charities is one thing, to receive actual on-the-job training although unpaid is another thing. To work for a for-profit company with no benefits other than for the company is just exploitative.