I won’t even begin to get into the changes to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coming into force on Jan. 16, 2009, but as many have mentioned, the FMLA Final Rule (registered on Nov. 17) is a boon to families of service members and to employers, the latter of whom now get a better structure for dealing with FMLA requests.

More on that perhaps another time.

For now, let’s look at changes coming to the minimum wage. In addition to Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, 25 states will be raising their minimum wages in 2009, with Washington topping the list at $8.55. Compare this to the new federal minimum wage, which kicks in July 24, of $7.25

Incredibly, the two highest minimum wage laws are in cities, and both take effect Jan. 1, 2009. San Francisco is upping its minimum to $9.79 an hour, while Santa Fe is pegging its rate at $9.92 an hour.

I’ve heard some talk (probably wishful thinking) coming from Obama supporters of upping the federal minimum wage to become a living wage (in the neighborhood of $11 or so an hour). We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

There’s also the little matter of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would legalize unionization of a company by “card check.” As soon as more than 50 percent of employees sign these cards, zap–here comes the union to start negotiating.

EFAC, needless to say, has many employers more than a little concerned.

Again, more on that in a future post.

For now, thanks to Ann Barnes at the Compensation Force blog for compiling the list of 25 states’ raising their minimum wage.