68. Dismissal for absence during pregnancy.-
(1) When a woman absents herself from work in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, it shall be unlawful for her employer to discharge or dismiss her during or on account of such absence or to give notice of discharge or dismissal on such a day that the notice will expire during such absence, or to vary to her disadvantage any of the conditions of her service:
Provided that the discharge or dismissal of a woman at any time during her pregnancy, if the woman but for such discharge or dismissal would have been entitled to maternity benefit or medical bonus under this Chapter, shall not have the effect of depriving her of the maternity benefit or medical bonus:
Provided further that where the dismissal is for any gross misconduct as may be prescribed by the Central Government, the employer may, by order in writing, communicated to the woman, deprive her of the maternity benefit or medical bonus, or both.
(2) Any woman deprived of maternity benefit or medical bonus, or both, or discharged or dismissed under sub-section (1), may, within sixty days from the date on which order of such deprivation or discharge or dismissal is communicated to her, appeal to the competent authority, and the decision of that authority on such appeal, whether the woman should or should not be deprived of maternity benefit or medical bonus or both, or discharged or dismissed, shall be final.