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JD, St. John's University School of Law, Jamaica, New York

BA, University of Southern California

Did You Know

An avid world traveler, one of Liz's favorite excursions was hiking the Inca Trail in Peru.

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.

Firefighter Trainee v. County (2023) – A firefighter trainee claimed pay for time spent staying in a county-provided hotel after completing each day’s academy training.  Succeeded in removing this FLSA case to federal court, defeating any collective action designation, and disposing of the case on summary judgment.   Successfully argued that the after-hours hotel time was not compensable FLSA work time because no one required the trainee to study after hours, and the trainee was free to follow personal pursuits after each training day.

Clark v. City of Ontario (2019) – Obtained summary judgment on former Fire Chief’s causes of action for FEHA retaliation and disability discrimination.  Claims for race discrimination, harassment, and for violations of Labor Code sections 1102.5 and 6310 were previously dismissed at the demurrer stage.

Police Officer v. City (2018) – Following a 10-day hearing, the arbitrator upheld the City’s decision to terminate a police officer for failing to investigate and prepare a police report in connection with a domestic violence call and an assault of a business owner by an ex-employee.  In both instances, the police officer also failed to properly use his body worn camera which was also a violation of department policy.

Plaintiff v. Private School (2017) – Obtained judgment in arbitration on behalf of School in lawsuit by former coach/athletics manager alleging wrongful termination in violation of public policy based on complaints he had made about student and facilities safety issues and harassment and discrimination based on the employee’s age and disability.

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.

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.

Pros & Cons of a 9/80 Work Schedule

Recently published in the California Special Districts Association March/April magazine, LCW Partner Elizabeth Arce and Senior Counsel Stephanie Lowe write on the pros and cons of a 9/80 work schedule. “The 9/80 is a two workweek schedule of eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day, and one day off” Arce...

The California Supreme Court Makes It Easier for Employees to Blow the Whistle
ERMA Legal Alert

In January 2022, the California Supreme Court finally dispelled widespread confusion regarding the evidentiary standard for whistleblower retaliation claims bought under Labor Code section 1102.5. In Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. (Lawson), the Court clarified that an employee-friendly...

Common Pitfalls in Using 9/80 Schedules and How to Avoid Them
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

This article was reviewed in May 2021 and is up-to-date.
Many public employers utilize 9/80 work schedules for non-exempt employees.  A 9/80 work schedule is essentially a two-workweek schedule of eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day, and one day off.  However, once the 9/80 work schedule is...

COVID-19, Social Justice and Their Impact on Litigation for Years to Come
California Special District's Magazine

From an unprecedented global pandemic to civil unrest and increasing political polarization, the events of 2020 launched employers into uncharted territory as they faced a host of unique employment-related issues.  As employers across California continue to navigate these issues, one thing remains...

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

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...

Virus Leave Poses Pay Calculation Issues For Public Agencies
Law 360

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...

May 09, 2024
Labor and Employment Litigation Update
Rancho Mirage | League of California Cities City Attorneys Spring Conference

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