The employees of Gravity must have been ecstatic to learn that the CEO of the company, Dan Price, raised the company’s minimum wage to $70,000 a year last April.
It was a risky move from an outsider looking at the company and has been a trending topic among other American companies. Price even took a salary cut from his million dollars CEO position to make this work. But did it work?
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By all accounts from Price and employees alike, the short answer to that question is yes. But that is not to say it was easy. In the first three months of his decision to raise the minimum wage for his employees, Price was struggling to make ends meet.
“I’m working as hard as I ever worked to make it work. I’m renting out my house right now to try and make ends meet myself,” Price said. His brother and co-CEO, Lucas Price, even sued him.
Lucas sued him after accusing him of previously overpaying himself, abusing corporate spending, and demanded he buy him out of his minority stake in the company.
Dan recently won the lawsuit earlier this year, and he told The Today Show, “I feel bad that we have a hard time coexisting and maybe being good brothers to each other. It’s something we need to improve on…but I love him and I believe he loves me.”
Despite all this, Dan stands firmly behind his decision to raise the minimum wage for his employees.
He told CNN earlier this year, “On the other hand, I can kind of control my little micro group, and so for me, to be able to do something to address the issue, even if it was bold, it was something that I felt was the right thing to do. And I’m actually really happy with the decision I made, in spite of the challenges I faced.”
As might be expected, his decision was met with raving reviews from the ones who benefitted the most. One employee for the Seattle-based credit-card-payment processing company, Alyssa O’Neal, a young, single mom went from making $35,000 a year to $60,00 and will earn $70,000 by the end of 2017. She was ecstatic that she no longer had to worry about being able to support her family.
She said, “I don’t have any daily worries about money anymore — checking the savings account, seeing where I can penny-pinch. I’m able to live a bit more freely now. Not necessarily spending money left and right, but just doing a little bit more for myself.”
Dan informed the public that 401K contributions have increased by 130 percent, further proving employees aren’t just spending money frivolously — they’re investing in their futures.
Many business owners in America would like to raise the minimum wage but many claim that they are not as financially stable as Dan. They argue that if they were to raise their minimum wage they would have to let employees go to combat the losses they’d have.
This may not work for every company, and the decision Dan made wasn’t easy, but he survived and showed it can work – if you’re willing to sacrifice your own lavish lifestyle.