Good morning Jeff,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
It is quite legal for an employer to schedule you for shifts shorter than 8 hours a day, and is even permissible under CA law for you to be scheduled as little as an hour a day. Problems only arise if you are scheduled, arrive at work and are turned away, and then you are entitled to be paid for showing up for work.
But so long as you are allowed to work the scheduled shift, it is all lawful.
As for other employees being treated as you are being treated, unless you believe that the reason for the disparity is your race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristic protected by law, then, while it may not be fair, it is not illegal either. I'm sorry.
If you believe that you are being discriminated against based on your race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity----then tell me so and I will provide you with information you can use in seeking a remedy to the discrimination.
I wish you the best in 2013.
I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.
You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions.
Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation.