This is a very common occurance in the workplace where there is rivalry and competition. From your description, it sounds as though the attitude from the person doing the gossiping existed beacause you got the job rather than her. Her motivation to gossip may be feulled by this rather than the fact that you are asian. In her gossiping she very likley brought your race into it. Did you go to your supervisor or manager and make a formal complaint about the gossip? If so, they would be obliged by law to deal with it, and if substantiated, take action to stop it or even fire the peson in question. If they did nothing about it, then you may have a case against your former employer. Getting a 'clear' reference from this company may be difficult and a prospective employer is not obliged to show you the reference they have received. But you can always ask and explain the reasons why you left to your prospective employer.