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Gravity Payments Employees Volunteer for Pay Cuts to Avoid Layoffs

Employees at Gravity Payments are taking a page from their CEO’s playbook to help the company (and their colleagues) weather the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Seattle-based credit card company’s co-founder and CEO Dan Price grabbed headlines in 2015, when he redistributed all but $70,000 of his million-dollar salary to his approximately 130 employees.

Price, whose brash move earned him the nickname “The $70,000 CEO,” also set $70,000 as the new minimum annual salary at Gravity Payments. Price (who provided more details behind his bold decision in a presentation at our 2019 conference) said at the time that he wanted to strike a blow against income inequality. Moreover, he was trying to look out for his own workers’ financial well-being.

Five years later, and his employees (now counting more than 220) are taking it upon themselves to look out for each other. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Price asked his workers for solutions to help the company get through this especially rough patch, and their collective response was to take voluntary pay cuts, with employees offering to see their salaries scaled back anywhere from 5% to 50% for the time being. A handful of employees volunteered to go without any pay at all throughout the current crisis.

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