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Unfortunately, an employee has rather limited rights in these situations. The reason is because absent an express agreement to the contrary, employment in the state of Virginia is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated or modified for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination or modification is fair, reasonable or even true.
So, an employer doesn't actually need to sign a change in job description in order for an employer to implement it. The one caveat is that an employer cannot reduce an employee's rate of pay without first notifying them of the change. "Consent" isn't required--it is presumed that the employee consents if they continue working knowing that they are being paid less. But an employer cannot retroactively cut an employee's pay such that they are deprived of the choice whether to work at the lower rate. Any reduction in pay can only be implemented on wages earned AFTER the employee is informed.
Therefore, to the extent your family member's pay is being reduced retroactively, that would be illegal and your family member would be entitled to his prior rate of pay up to when he was informed of the reduction. Beyond this, however, and he would not typically have any further rights or recourse beyond attempting to negotiate something better or searching for alternative employment on better terms somewhere else.
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