TSA officials said they reviewed photographs which caught screening supervisors at Newark Liberty International Airport sleeping in front of monitors used for bomb detection.
"A bag could have come through with something in it and get loaded right onto a plane," said a screening officer who asked for anonymity because agents are not permitted to speak to the press.
The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported the eight agents were fired Wednesday morning.
"TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace," read a statement released by TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. "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 screeners are planning to appeal their terminations, said Mecca Scott, a national organizer with the Association of Federal Government Employees union.