BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Discriminating against women in Brazil is already illegal. Now it may be very costly as well.
Brazil's Congress has passed a bill imposing fines on companies paying women lower wages than men for the same work. The measure approved Tuesday is expected to be signed into law by Brazil's first female president, Dilma Rousseff.
Fines can be as much as five times the cumulative difference in the salaries during the entire time a woman is employed by a company.
The Brazilian government's statistics agency has found that on average, women earn only 70 percent of what their male counterparts take home.
The bill is authored by congressman Marcal Filho, who says businesses won't take the wage-gap issue seriously without penalties.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)