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CEO raises minimum wage to $70,000

By: KOMO News

SEATTLE -- Unimpressed with the city's plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, the CEO of a Seattle company announced Tuesday that he's raising his company's minimum wage to $70,000 a year.

Yes, even the most junior clerical worker at Gravity in Seattle will soon make $70,000 a year. Gravity founder and CEO Dan Price was inspired by cities around the country increasing their minimum wage and decided he'd like to take it a step further.

The company, which processes credit card payments for thousands of businesses, will give raises to roughly 70 employees. Right now the average salary at Gravity is $48,000, according to the company.

The idea is being called a bold move by some economic experts, while others say it's crazy. But for employees like Kate Kramer, it's music to her ears.

"This gives me the ability to travel and see my family more," Kramer said. "I can actually start contributing to the 401K plan that Gravity offers."

Kramer said she had to start working a second, part-time job to make ends meet, but she won't have to do that anymore. Other employees, such as Austin Roos, are already thinking about how they'll spend their new money.

"Man, maybe I can do a one bedroom (apartment), maybe a two. Maybe I can move into a bigger place," he said. The workers are also eager to show Price how grateful they are about the economic experiment.

"Yeah, I said I'd buy him a drink. Because usually he's the one buying us drinks at happy hour," Kramer said.

To help pay for the plan, Price is cutting his own $1 million salary down to $70,000. The raises will be phased in over the next three years,.

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