8 TSA Security Screeners Fired For Allegedly Sleeping On The Job At Newark Airport

The Transportation Security Administration has fired eight security screeners working at Newark Liberty International Airport, accusing them of sleeping while on the job and other violations. The workers were nabbed as part of an ongoing investigation of security operations at the airport.

Investigators aren’t too happy about photographs that appear to show screening supervisors taking a snooze in front of monitors used for detecting bombs and other threats in checked bags, reports The Star-Ledger.

“TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in a statement. “The decision to take disciplinary action, including the proposed immediate removal of eight individuals from the TSA reaffirms our strong commitment to ensure the safety of the traveling public.”

The eight officers who were fired were videotaped by surveillance cameras either sleeping or violating other screen standards in a bag room in Terminal B last December, said the TSA.

A national organizer for the union the workers belong to said all eight will appeal the terminations.

*Thanks for the tip as always, Harper!

8 Newark airport screeners fired by TSA for sleeping on duty, other violations [The Star-Ledger]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Phred says:

    It’s a start!

  2. ChuckECheese says:

    If the catnapping screeners were as cute as those kittens, I say give ’em a promotion!

  3. Mr. Fix-It is trapped in a collection of half-working appliances says:

    “TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,”


  4. GaijenSoft says:

    Okay, can we all look at this article objectively for a moment? Forget that it’s the TSA, etc. What I would like to know is WHY they were sleeping?

    Were they out all night partying, and not sleeping? If so, fire their asses.

    Are they being scheduled for long hours, sometimes working double shifts, etc, and they are falling asleep because their job is literally exhausting them because of it? If so, the TSA should take corrective action, and not punish these security guards for something they caused them to do.

    That’s what I would like to know. I like hating on the TSA as much as the next person, but really, the story lacks some facts that are required for an objective opinion.

    • sufreak says:

      You pose a valid statement. So rare on here.

      It is a good question… it seems they are understaffed, and the staff they do have is quite inept.

  5. kingofmars says:

    There is another possiblity. The package may have been delievered to a different person/company. That company may get a lot of packages, and might not have checked if it was theirs before opening it.

    This happens at my office a lot. There are several other business listed at my address, even though they aren’t there. It happens infrequently enough that I don’t bother to checking who it is addressed to before I open the package.

    My favorite package was a backpack full of doorknobs.

  6. AtlantaCPA says:

    I like imagining that all 8 of them were napping together, maybe with a few heads leaning on uniformed shoulders. So cute.

  7. sufreak says:

    “A national organizer for the union the workers belong to said all eight will appeal the terminations.”
    I am split on this statement. I generally support unions. And it is great in the event of wrongfully fired people. Maybe I’m biased against the TSA, but if there is unquestionable proof, I don’t see whats to appeal.

    But, they do have to appeal as that’s part of the job of the union. Let’s just hope the appeal is denied.

    • sufreak says:

      “It was 2:30 in the morning and I was off duty,” said a one of the supervisors who was photographed in the federal inspection station at Terminal B, a room where X-ray images of checked baggage are monitored before the bags are loaded onto planes.

      A valid reason for an appeal.

      • benh999 says:

        Taking naps in secure areas while off-duty is valid?

        • GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

          If you have clearance/access to that area normally, and you are not on duty, unless there is a stated policy that you can not be in there, it’s a valid reason to appeal.

  8. The Beer Baron says:

    Well can we blame these poor men and women for working themselves to the point of exhaustion? After all, they are on the very front lines of the fight against Aero-Terrorism! Their vigilance stopped the Shoe Bomber– I mean, the Underwear Bomber– ah… They keep thousands of unwelcome firearms off aeroplanes– I.. well… Hmm.

    My word, might someone proffer a bit of help here?

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      They make everyone slow down and queue up into one concentrated, easily bomb-able target… Maybe you don’t want my help.

      • Phred says:

        Been saying that for years. The biggest soft spot in airline security is the cattle-pen area where everyone is funneled to go through the TSA “freedom gropes.”

  9. AtlantaCPA says:

    We used to take a group nap in my old job. It was a data entry job basically, and we got two 15 minute breaks. We had someone set an alarm and then all put our heads on our desks. It was awesome while it lasted. Then our boss boss decided it looked bad and we weren’t allowed to anymore.

  10. Lyn Torden says:

    Please don’t use pictures like that. Sleeping kitties are so cute. Sleeping TSA workers are not.

  11. Blueskylaw says:

    The eight security screeners said that they spent so much time trying to
    find the damn airport that they just had to take a nap once they got there.

    • GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

      Newark Airport is easy to find. Staying on the grounds, or finding the right terminal is the pain.

  12. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I’m going to take the positive outlook here: if they’re sleeping, they’re not groping people, hassling little kids or old people, or stealing. I’m sort of torn on whether they should be punished or not.

  13. philpm says:

    “TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in a statement.

    Since when?

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      In related news, TSA mouthpiece Lisa Farbstein was admitted to a local hospital with third degree burns from what witnesses at the scene are calling spontaneous trouser combustion. One onlooker was quoted as saying: “Her pants just lit on fire like they were doused in gasoline!” Investigators have not ruled out divine retribution as the cause.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        This would have made me LOL but my bf broke up with me last night and my face hurts. I’ll smile in a few months. (Or never but thanks for the funny.)

  14. 1latenite says:

    Sleep on job = Fired

    Spill someone’s ashes = Keep job

  15. Bodger says:

    Probably ‘jest plumb tuckered out’ from stealing valuables from the bags. They only have a limited amount of time to grab what they can and have to move fast when opportunities present themselves. Even leaving the obligatory dildo notes is tiring.

  16. evilpete says:

    huh??? “a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace” dont most case of misconduct endup swept under the rug or the TSA employee just having to take 8 hours of “retraining”

  17. George4478 says:

    Airport officials grew suspicious and investigated when they heard passengers commenting on how smooth the security procedure was and how satisfied they were with the TSA.

    • daemonaquila says:

      Nah, they got suspicious because someone made a positive report about TSA at Newark. Someone had to have been planting fake reports – there’s no way an actual traveler would say that when going through EWR security.

  18. krom says:

    I really love how TSA agents don’t get fired for, say, molesting a traveler, or harrassing a child, or embarassing a disabled person, or losing or destroying items, or denying someone civil rights and due process, or abusing their position.

    No, they get fired for taking a freaking nap.

    • eldergias says:

      …and they are appealing, which means they honestly believe it is acceptable to do no work and still get paid.

  19. daemonaquila says:

    Newark TSA is the pits. I have to fly through there pretty often, and most of them are screeching scumbags who neither take their jobs seriously, nor give a rip about trying to get passengers through in a reasonable and efficient manner. I saw one agent doing ticket checks practically get hauled out by the back of his shirt by another, who came to the understanding that a 5 year old could do that job 5 times more quickly. I’ve encountered numerous agents at the tail of the line literally yelling into the faces of travelers (how do you know they even speak English?) because they didn’t realize that there was a whole other half of a line that started 30 feet away down an access corridor because TSA couldn’t handle the traffic. I’ve seen another moron watching the bag x-ray who couldn’t tell what ANYTHING was, and would take 3 minutes to look at a single bag and have to call her supervisor over for every single one. In all my flights through Newark, I’ve run into maybe 3 nice, competent TSA agents. I hope all the others get fired.

  20. PragmaticGuy says:

    You know, the TSA pays fairly well and they get Federal benefits. Most of these yokels couldn’t never get another job this good. The least they should do is do their job well.

  21. gman863 says:

    “TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,”

    Grabbing your junk: Nobody does it better.

  22. dush says:

    The lesson here is that we were just as safe when they were sleeping as when they were groping and scanning.

  23. eldergias says:

    They are appealing the terminations.

    “But sir, we should be ALLOWED to sleep on the job. See, I don’t want to do any work and I want to still get paid. That is my right.”

    Response: “Go look up the definition of ‘right’.”

  24. thor777 says:

    They wouldn’t have to fire employees if they hired competent people in the first place….

  25. Syncop8d1 says:

    Kitties are cute. That’s all I have to add.

  26. frodolives35 says:

    I have not flown in years. My wife and I have made the decision that if we cannot drive there we wont go. On a biter sweet note a up coming promotion at work will require some air travel. I hope the airports are not as bad as I fear.