Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration workers called off work sick this week after being forced to work without pay during the now 14-day partial government shutdown, union and agency officials said.
More than 150 called out Friday from Kennedy International Airport in New York City, according to the paper.
Saturday's media dump suggested that scores of TSA workers failed to show up to work as the government shutdown hits the two-week mark.
Workers aren't skipping work as a protest, a TSA union official told CNN, but rather because they can't afford to continue without a paycheck.
DHS spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton went on to deny the report.
Transportation security administration officers at the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO) have not been paid since December 26, 2018.
Meanwhile, the TSA said in a statement "security effectiveness will not be compromised and performance standards will not change" during the shutdown. The number of people calling out sick have increased by 200 percent to 300 percent at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. TSA officers are considered essential government personnel, and have been required to report to work, even though they are not being paid during a shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government.
In North Carolina, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham's airports are seeing call-outs jump by 10 percent, local union president Mac Johnson told the news network.
Jonathan Dean, a BWI spokesman, said the airport is "monitoring the situation and working closely with our TSA counterpart".
"Call outs began over the Holiday period and have increased, but are causing minimal impact given there are 51,739 employees supporting the screening process", the tweet said. The spokesperson said 99.8% of 2.2 million passengers screened on January 3 waited less than 30 minutes.
The shutdown continues as President Donald Trump and Congress are unable to reach an agreement.
And TSA is bracing for more call outs next week, according to veteran field officials. At Dallas-Fort Worth International, the wait time was slightly longer than in NY but still within TSA standards.
Thomas' union represents some 55,000 TSA employees, who screen approximately 800 million fliers a year; he is based at JFK. "This will be the first time that a lot of these folks who've worked, will not have a paycheck and many people don't react until that happens", said Leigh Purdum, a transportation security officer at CHO.