The U.S. Department of Labor is taking steps to become a "model workplace" for gay, lesbian and transgender employees.

In a statement Thursday, the department said it would begin prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and pregnancy.

The new policies protect employees and applicants "regardless of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, parental status, and sexual orientation."

"I am expressing my personal commitment to ensure that the U.S. Department of Labor is a model workplace, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, which fosters a work environment that fully utilizes the capabilities of every employee," Secretary Hilda Solis said.

"It is my goal that we achieve and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce at all organizational levels throughout the department."

"Harassing conduct by managers, supervisors, or employees, including contractors, at any level, will not be tolerated," according to a policy statement on the Labor Department's website.

"DOL will not tolerate retaliation against any employee for making a good-faith report of harassing conduct or for conducting, cooperating with, or participating in any investigation of alleged harassing conduct or any stage of any legal proceeding, administrative or judicial, that is related."