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!
- Ask Now: How much is public service worth in the city of Brookfield?
- Ask Now: Is there wifi at Brookfield city hall?
- Ask Now: Will Anthem College in Brookfield be replaced?
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Ask Now: When does Brookfield send the plows out?
- Ask Now: Does Brookfield or Elm Grove have more library lovers?
- Ask Now: Where should Brookfield residents take their Christmas trees?
- Ask Now: Does Elmbrook Humane Society leave animals outside?
- Ask Now: Does Brookfield have the third-largest tax base in the state?
- Ask Now: Wireless dead zones, what is to be done?
- Ask Now: Are there any plans for the Old Toll Road Village site in Brookfield?
- Ask Now: What's happening in Brookfield at I-94 and Moorland?
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Ask Now: When will the Watertown Plank railroad crossing be smoother?
- Ask Now: Path sharing problems in Brookfield?
- Ask Now: Is Mitchell Park getting winter recreational trials?
- Ask Now: Is the roundabout at Brookfield Road and North Avenue working as it should?
- Ask Now: How long will 124th Street be closed?
- Ask Now: Is Big Brother watching you?
- Ask Now: Which has more park space per resident — the City of Brookfield, or Elm Grove?
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Ask Now: The weeds are back — who is responsible?
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Ask Now: Will sidewalks remain after North Avenue is widened?