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CEO says he will cut his pay to give every employee a minimum wage of $70,000

WATCH: The owner of an American company is being called a hero because of what he’s done for his employees. He was making about $1 million a year, but he’s decided to take a huge pay cut in order to give all of his employees a pay hike. As Robin Gill reports, he says his motivation was about making a difference.

SEATTLE – For some companies, Seattle’s new $15 minimum wage law isn’t doing enough to help workers.

The CEO of Gravity Payments, a Seattle-based company that processes credit-card payments, told his employees this week that he was taking a pay cut so they would earn a base salary of $70,000, to be phased in over three years.

READ MORE: Minimum wage protests held in Ontario and across North America

Dan Price’s announcement surprised everyone at a company meeting, Seattle television station KING reported. He says his pay cut is worth it to make the company’s more than 100 employees happy and to build loyalty.

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“I think this is just what everyone deserves,” Price told workers.

Earlier this month, Seattle’s minimum wage law went into effect, which will eventually raise base hourly pay to $15. It’s phased in more quickly for big companies than small ones: Large businesses and national chains had to raise their minimum wage to at least $11 an hour when the law took effect April 1, while smaller businesses now must pay at least $10.

The Northwestern state of Washington already has the nation’s highest minimum wage at $9.47 an hour.

WATCH: The Morning Show gang discusses the life-changing gesture from Seattle-based CEO, Dan Price

People in the Seattle area rallied Wednesday for wage increases as part of national protests.

For Gravity Payments employee Alyssa O’Neal, who will more than double her salary once the company’s policy is implemented, says she will use the extra money to buy a house for her young family.

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“House, absolutely. I have this goal of being a 21-year-old homeowner, and I’m going to reach that now, and I’m stoked,” O’Neal said.