From your considerate and thoughtful tone, you must be a therapist.
Our contributions go in quickly when the market is low, and are delayed when the market us up. I have no idea why. It's just always been like that. It's frustrating for an employer to have thousands of your money in limbo for weeks.
I saw this very same pattern at one of my former jobs. Irked me to death. I'm what I call "detail oriented", but some of my friends call me anal. Call it what you like, but I found it unacceptable. Talking to HR didn't help. Talking to the account executive at the Third Party Administer (TPA) didn't help. So I did what any "detail oriented" engineer would do...I kept a spreadsheet. I signed up for Morningstar. Everyday I entered the closing value for the Wilshire 5000 index. I used this as a reference for "the market". I also entered the pay dates, and the day of the contribution.
With this data, I correlated the time between the pay date and the contribution date with the market. I found a less than 10% chance that the delays in contribution when the market was rising was due to pure random variation. Curiously, when "the market" (as measured by the Wilshire 5000) was dropping the 401(k) contribution would get into my account in two days. When it was rising it could take a couple of weeks.
I showed the the Gucci-wearing, BMW-driving, Marin County-living, oily-haired slickster at the TPA my data. He assured me in patronizing tones that there was nothing illicit going on. I asked him if an audit by the EBSA would confirm that. He assured me that it would. I was fully prepared to request that audit, but suddenly and magically the variance went to zero. Three business days after a pay date, the money showed up in my account just like clockwork. My graph of variance went completely flat and stayed that way for the entire rest of my tenure at that corrupt corporation. I'm sure that it was completely coincidental and this had nothing to do with my thinly veiled threat to get the EBSA involved.
Based on my personal biases, I have no doubt your husband's employer is playing the same game, but don't take my word for it. Have a look at #3 here: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/Publications/10warningsigns.html
. It is a tough situation. Turning your employer into the EBSA isn't probably going to win your husband any friends. Perhaps a chat with the TPA?