Is there a rumor you'd like tracked down? Rory Linnane answers some of the mysteries of life in Brookfield and helps solve everyday problems.
What do interns do for the city, and are they compensated?
Question: The subject of paying interns has been a popular topic in the news lately, with many companies coming under fire for not paying their interns. How does the city of Brookfield approach internships?
Answer: The city of Brookfield has been providing internships for several years now. Some are supplementary to the city's normal workload and more academic in nature, while others have been crucial to helping the city maintain services when staff has been cut, Human Resources Director James Zwerlein said. Those of the latter category are paid, while the others are not.
Many companies have been scrutinized recently for using unpaid internships, especially after a New York court ruling last year found that unpaid interns at Fox Searchlight Pictures were performing the work of regular employees, and therefore needed to be paid minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act, however, only applies to interns in the "for profit" private sector, exempting non-profits and governments.
However, Zwerlein said, the city has decided to pay its interns who provide work that is integral to a department, that the department would otherwise hire an employee to perform.
"We believe if people are doing actual work of the city that needs (to be) done, they should be paid for that," Zwerlein said.
The city's two paid interns this year are in the Department of Community Development, where the Common Council voted to cut a staff position from the budget this fiscal year. The interns pick up the slack.
One of the paid interns, Kimberly Sleider, is a master's student in urban planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is working on creating a historical walking tour of the Village area of Brookfield, researching the history of various buildings and designing the pamphlets that will lead visitors through the tour.
The Community Development Department also has two unpaid interns, whose work is meant to be less integral to the city and more related to their studies.
Email Rory Linnane with your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Brookfield Ask Now: Library staff reorganization promotes flexibility
- Ask Now: When will the TIF referendum topic be discussed?
- Ask Now: Why are Christmas trees allowed in public spaces?
- Ask Now: What is MSO?
- Ask Now: Can you burn leaves in Brookfield?
- Ask Now: Why are Brookfield utility bills going to West Allis?
- Ask Now: Wisconsin Ave. extension still in the works?
- Brookfield Ask Now: Why are lanes closed on Bluemound Road?
- Ask Now: Do park hours change with the seasons?
- Ask Now: More roundabouts coming?
- Ask Now: How do I get an idea to the common council?
- Ask Now: Soil samples taken at Pilgrim and Gebhardt in Brookfield
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Ask Now: Why the yellow blinking arrows?
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Ask Now: What's up with Fun World?
- Ask Now: Does the city get involved when similar businesses seek to open?
- Ask Now: What is going on with the Capitol Drive water tower?
- Ask Now: Does the city police department collect prescription drugs?
- Ask Now: Who reviews city architecture?
- Ask Now: Who guards the lifeguards from the sun?
- Ask Now: Fewer meetings? Same pay?