The landmark Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue.Photo: Helayne Seidman
Workers at the famed Carnegie Deli were treated like bad meat for years, and now they’re about to come into a lot of lettuce.
The Midtown eatery’s feuding husband-and-wife owners are set to shell out $2.65 million to settle a lawsuit by staffers claiming the estranged couple cheated them out of legal wages for at least a decade, new court papers show.
Marian Levine, whose family founded the overstuffed-sandwich mecca in 1937, and her womanizing husband and deli manager, Sanford “Sandy” Levine, have an agreement in principle to pay the dough to about 25 current and former workers, according to Manhattan federal court transcripts and other documents reviewed by The Post.
That’s an average payout of $106,000 per employee.
The workers slapped the estranged couple with the scathing unfair-labor-practices, class-action lawsuit in 2012. Both sides have told a judge they hope to have the settlement finalized by April 7.
Meanwhile, the Levines — who once starred in the reality TV show “The Family Pickle” — are currently embroiled in their own legal battle against each other.
Marian Levine, 63, has accused her 71-year-old hubby of ripping off company funds and giving up Carnegie’s secret cheesecake and pastrami recipes to his ex-waitress-turned-girlfriend. The gal pal’s Thai relatives later opened a restaurant called Carnegie Deli Thailand in Bangkok.
Marion filed for divorce and also slapped Sandy with a $10 million lawsuit involving the alleged embezzlement.
The troubled two are accused in the federal labor suit of not paying their workers overtime, shelling out hourly salaries of between $2.50 and $3 — well below the $7.25 minimum-wage requirement — and regularly docking workers for hour lunches that the staffers were ordered not to take.
The suit — describing complaints that date back to at least 2004 — claims cooks, dishwashers and other “back-of-the house” staffers were quietly paid “off the books” in violation of federal tax laws, too.
It adds that waiters and waitresses were routinely docked pay if they miscalculated customer food bills.
Lawyers for both sides ironed out the settlement’s payment details. But they recently informed Judge Katherine Polk Failla that there was a holdup: Marian Levine’s wish to pay out the settlement over a four-year period.
Both sides had previously agreed that half the money would be paid up front and the rest a year later.
The plaintiffs want to force her to honor the original agreement.
Marion Levine’s move to try to extend the payments could be because of cash-flow woes.
Her previous legal team pulled out of the case in January, claiming at a court hearing that they were owed “several hundred-thousand dollars” for working on this case and others for Marion.
Both Marion Levine and Brent Pelton, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, declined comment.
A lawyer for Sandy Levine didn’t return a phone call seeking comment .