Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Food

Drama and a $2.65M Lawsuit Come to Carnegie Deli

wikicommons

Oversized sandwiches for guests and undersized pay for employees seems to have been the guiding philosophy at Carnegie Deli for more than a decade.

On Friday, a Manhattan federal judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement between 25 current and former employees of the deli and its owners, Marian and Sanford Levine. The New York Daily News reported that the workers, who claimed that pay had been held back illegally for over 10 years, will receive a $2.65 million settlement.

According to court documents obtained by the New York Post, working conditions at the famous Midtown pastrami hotspot were rough: Employees claimed that the management paid them hourly salaries below the minimum wage of $7.25, as little as $2.50 to $3. The class action lawsuit, which was brought on in 2012, also accused the owners of not paying the workers overtime, and of keeping them from having their lunch breaks. The payout will happen over the next four years.

This is not the only legal action the owners of the deli are involved in. Marian Levine, who inherited Carnegie Deli from her father Milton Parker, filed a lawsuit against her husband Sanford last October. She claimed that he had passed along trade secrets to Penkae Siricharoen, a Thai waitress with whom he had had an affair since 1998. Siricharoen’s family runs a Carnegie-knock off called ‘New York Cheesecake’ in Thailand. Sanford Levine had not only invited the Thai family to visit Carnegie Deli’s New Jersey Plant, but also allegedly gave his mistress, who lived in the apartment building owned by his wife a highly advantageous deal that froze her rent for 15 years.

And if that’s not enough trouble for one 77-year-old New York City establishment: Two weeks ago, Jose Robles, one of the deli’s managers, was assaulted by a homeless man outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Instead of coming to help him, bystanders filmed the attack on their cell phones, Robles, who suffered a broken arm, told the New York Daily News.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.