LOS ANGELES (CBS / AP) — The former housekeeper of billionaire California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was honored at an immigrant rights gala in Los Angeles.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, which organized Thursday’s fete, says Nicky Diaz Santillan’s situation is similar to many illegal immigrant household workers.

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The group is pushing for a state domestic workers’ rights bill like the one that passed in New York last year requiring overtime pay for nannies, housekeepers and companions to the sick.

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The Mexican-born Diaz Santillan claimed Whitman knew she was an illegal immigrant during the nine years she was employed, which Whitman denied.

The California Nurses Association helped Diaz Santillan make her story public, which helped sink the first-time Republican candidate.

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Others being honored include retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony and actress Rosario Dawson.