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Best Boss Ever?

April 16th, 2015

Gravity Payments staff. Photo credit: Gravity Payments

The boss of a Seattle business gave his employees a huge surprise this week.

Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, announced that he’s giving up a huge chunk of his $1 million a year salary … so that his 120 employees can make more money. A lot more money.

The minimum amount his employees will now be making is $70,000 a year. The same as his new pay.

Some of his employees doubled their salaries with this announcement. And cheered him (after they picked their jaws up off the floor and came out of shock).

Usually when you get a raise in your pay at work, it’s a few more cents every hour, not double. So this amazing and practically unheard of.

You can see the video of his announcement (and his very happy employees’ reactions!) at The New York Times ‘ website .

Gravity Payments is a company that processes credit card payments.

Why do this?

Mr. Price (a fitting name) said he wanted to take a stand about treating employees more fairly. He believes there shouldn’t be such a huge difference between what bosses and the people who work for them make. Chief executives often make about 300 times more than what an average employee makes, according to reports.

And since there are a lot fewer bosses in general than workers, very few people have most of the money. And a lot more people have a lot less.

There’s also an ongoing discussion in the U.S. about the minimum wage — the minimum amount of money a worker can make by law. Right now, the national minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That is set by the federal government. But states can set their own minimum wage so it’s a little different everywhere. But most people argue that, in general, it’s just not enough to live on.

And, Mr. Price had read an important study that showed that while it’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness … making about $70,000 a year actually goes a long way. Too much more doesn’t make you happier. But less can make things pretty difficult.

Mr. Price, by lowering his wages and raising others’ is hoping to close the pay gap … and make a difference a different way.

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