Dan Price, CEO of the Seattle-based company Gravity Payments, announced this week that he would be taking a massive pay cut in order to provide his employees with a $70,000/year minimum wage.

$70,000 Minimum Wage

Price, founder and CEO of credit card processing company Gravity Payments, announced his company’s new pay structure on Monday, saying that he would be paying all of his 120 employees a $70,000, including himself. Currently, the average salary of a Gravity Payments employee is $48,000.

Price will be slowly diminishing his salary to $70,000 to help pay for the increased minimum wage for his employees. The increased salaries will also reportedly eat up 75 or 80 percent of the company’s projected $2.2 million annual profit. While Price admitted that the pay cut and dip into the company’s profits might hurt in the short term, he is confident that the long term benefits will far outweigh any initial cost. “I think that this hurts short term but pays for itself a few times over,” Price wrote on Twitter.

Price was reportedly inspired to raise the salaries of his employees after reading an article that stated that people making $70,000 per year were more likely to be happy than those earning less – like the previously stated $48,000. He also said he wants to bring attention to the growing issue of income inequality.

“For me, I really do view everything I do as a responsibility, and seeing growing inequality and how it’s harder to just make ends meet and live the American dream…Things are getting more and more expensive, especially in a city like Seattle, and the wages aren’t keeping up…It’s not about making money, it’s about making a difference,” Price said during a visit to the Today show.

“I’d like to help solve the income inequality gap,” Price added.

When asked whether or not he thought other CEOs would follow his lead, Price said he hoped some would, and, ultimately, that reluctant CEOs would be forced to raise the salaries of their employees to compete.

“Our clients and the best talent will come to us… and so, I want to force them to do it. Whether they want to do it or not, that’s up to them,” Price said.

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