Elizabeth Tom Arce

Elizabeth Tom Arce Partner

Liz is an accomplished advocate with experience litigating a wide array of labor and employment cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Liz has successfully represented employers in matters ranging from single plaintiff lawsuits to wage and hour class and collective actions. Her litigation experience includes numerous successful summary judgment motions, defeating class certification, and decertifying collective actions. Liz's litigation practice also includes handling matters in arbitration and before administrative agencies where she has been effective at obtaining favorable results for the firm's clients.

When she is not defending litigation matters, Liz advises employers on a wide range of diverse employment matters such as wage and hour, disability accommodations, public safety, employee discipline, disability retirements, and anti-discrimination, harassment and retaliation laws. At the center of her employment counseling practice is auditing employer policies and practices for compliance with wage and hour laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Liz is also a dynamic trainer who is motivated by her commitment to the firm's clients and her passion for employment law. She draws from her litigation experience during her presentations to educate and encourage employers to take preventative measures to reduce exposure to liability and costly litigation. In addition to presenting to the firm's consortiums, Liz also frequently speaks at regional, statewide and national conferences on a variety of employment-related topics.

Liz co-authored Chapter 4 (Leaves of Absence) of the California Public Sector Employment Law practice guide (Matthew Bender 2011). Articles authored by Liz have also appeared in leading publications in the legal industry and for public employers.

Prior to joining Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Liz was a litigator in the Los Angeles office of an international law firm where she represented businesses of all sizes in employment and commercial litigation matters.


Employee v. Police Department (2014) - After 12 days of hearing, Arbitrator upheld the decision to terminate a police officer for neglect of duty and failure to follow the City's policies.

Employee v. City (2013) - Successfully defended the City's decision to deny police officer's application for an industrial disability retirement before an Administrative Law Judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Employee v. Police Department (2013) - Arbitrator upheld the decision to terminate a police officer for dishonesty.

Employee v. Police Department (2012) - Hearing officer upheld the three-day suspension of a police officer for sleeping on duty.


Miller v. City of Los Angeles, et. al. (2015) - In a whistleblower retaliation federal lawsuit, the former Independent Assessor for the City of Los Angeles’s Fire Commission brought a lawsuit against the City and several individual defendants, alleging FEHA, § 1983, and Labor Code 1102.5 violations.  The firm obtained complete summary judgment on all causes of action on behalf of the City, the Mayor, all five Fire Commissioners, and a Mayoral employee.

Plaintiff v. Private School (2015) - Successfully brought an Anti-SLAPP motion which resulted in the dismissal of the complaint against the School and two individual defendants in a lawsuit alleging fraud and abuse of process. Attorney's fees and costs were also awarded to the defendants.

Plaintiff v. City (2015) - Obtained summary judgment on behalf of the City and several individual defendants in a lawsuit alleging whistleblower and first amendment retaliation.

Buckley v. Los Angeles Civil Service Commission (2014) - Trial court denied deputy sheriff's petition for writ of mandate and upheld the County's termination of his employment for neglect of duty.

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al. (2012) - We represented the County in a FLSA collective action where the U.S. District Court granted several key motions filed by LCW on behalf of the County. The lawsuit involved the "donning and doffing" claims of approximately 3,000 deputy sheriffs in two different, yet consolidated, collective action lawsuits filed against the County and its Sheriff. The trial court also granted the County's motion to decertify the remaining "off-the-clock" work claims. The District Court's rulings effectively ended two large collective/class action lawsuits after several years of litigation.

Reed v. County of Orange (2010) - The firm successfully decertified a collective/class action consisting of over 600 OCSD deputy sheriffs. The deputies alleged that the County violated the FLSA by failing to properly compensate them for missed meal breaks, donning and doffing their uniforms, and other "off-the-clock" work. This case resulted in two published opinions in favor of the County, Reed v. County of Orange, 266 F.R.D. 446 (C.D. Cal. 2010) and Reed v. County of Orange, 716 F.Supp.2d 876 (C.D. Cal. 2010).  LCW obtained summary judgment on the donning and doffing claims and decertified the collective action as to the remaining overtime claims.  The case ultimately settled.

Nov 16, 2020 Press Release

LCW to Present Nine Workshops at the 2020 Annual CALPELRA Virtual Conference

We are pleased to present and sponsor the 2020 Annual CALPELRA Conference taking place virtually this week (November 16 – 20)!  Don’t miss our nine scheduled conference presentations by our expert speakers.  Topics include negotiating in difficult times, telecommuting issues, public safety disability accommodations, and much, much more. 

Jun 23, 2020

FFCRA Forces Public Agencies to Comply with FLSA ‘Regular Rate of Pay’ Calculations

Partner Elizabeth Tom Arce and Associate Jennifer Palagi authored the Daily Journal article, "FFCRA Forces Public Agencies to Comply with FLSA ‘Regular Rate of Pay’ Calculations," discussing how the Families First Coronavirus Act requires employers to evaluate how they calculate the "regular rate of pay."

Jun 4, 2020

Virus Leave Poses Pay Calculation Issues For Public Agencies

Partner Elizabeth Tom Arce and Associate Jennifer Palagi authored the Law360 article, "Virus Leave Poses Pay Calculation Issues For Public Agencies," discussing how public agencies can properly calculate rate of pay under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Read the full article here

Mar 28, 2019

Liz Arce featured in Los Angeles County Bar Association Daily eBriefs

On Wednesday, March 27th, the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) featured Partner Liz Arce in their “Daily eBriefs” publication. 

Apr 26, 2018

Balancing Conflicts Between Work And Religion

In December 2011, a Macy’s employee was fired because she refused to allow a teenage transgender customer use of the women’s dressing areaNatalie Johnson, who worked at a Macy’s in San Antonio, Texas, watched the teenager shop in the women’s department.  When Johnson saw the teenager in the women’s dressing room, she told the teen “You’re a man,” and that the teen could not change in the women’s area.

Jan 2, 2018

Performance Evaluations: Why It’s A Good Thing For Public Employers

In the corporate world, the practice of giving annual performance reviews to employees has come under attack in recent years.  Leading business magazines and newspapers have printed articles advocating for the elimination of performance evaluations.  There are even books in the marketplace that teach companies how to get rid of performance reviews.

10 June 2021
Consortium Trainings

Advanced FLSA

San Diego ERC Webinar
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6 April 2021
Speaking Engagements

Lessons Learned from 2020 and How They Will Impact Litigation for Years to Come

California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Webinar Webinar
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17 November 2020
Customized Trainings


Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Los Angeles
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16 November 2020
Speaking Engagements

The Independent Contractor Compliance Review: Overlapping Issues & Legal Compliance

California Public Employer Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA) 2020 Annual Training Conference Webinar
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