Twenty-three employees from The New York Times were fired last week for sending what the company said was inappropriate e-mail.
They were employed at an administrative centre in Virginia, that processes invoices, payroll and benefits, said Nancy Nielsen, a spokeswoman for the company. Other employees received warnings.
According to The New York Times, the incident involved "internally circulated e-mail." Nielsen declined to elaborate.
Steven Robins, an analyst at The Yankee Group in Boston, said he understands why the employees were fired.
"The core issue is that employees are using a company's e-mail system," Robins said. "[They] don't own the phone, the desk, the e-mail system."