Meet the CEO Who Took a Pay Cut to Set His Employees' Minimum Wage at $70,000 a Year

Dan Price is the founder of Gravity Payments and he has decided to pay all his employees at least $70,000. The New York Times reports that Price made the move after reading an article on happiness. "The market rate for me as a C.E.O. compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd," Price told the paper.

Price is affording the wage increase by cutting his own salary from a million dollars a year to $70,000 and using 75-80% of the company's expected annual profit. Price started the Seattle-based processing company in 2004, when he was just 19. Since then, Gravity Payments has grown to a staff of 120 people, where the average salary is about $48,000 a year. 70 employees will now make more money, with 30 of them doubling their salaries.

The story quotes Gravity Payments employee Hayley Vogt, who makes $45,000 a year and was becoming increasingly worried about rent increases. "I’m completely blown away right now," she said, "Everyone is talking about this $15 minimum wage in Seattle and it’s nice to work someplace where someone is actually doing something about it and not just talking about it.”

In the United States, the average CEO earns more than 350 times what the average worker does.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.