Yes he can. His immigration status has nothing to do with his entitlement to a salary if there was a valid agreement to perform services for a fee between him and his employer. Another words, if his employer promised to pay him and took advantage of his illegal status he or she should get sued. immigration status is irrelevant in state courts and even illegal immigrants are eligible to file a claim
If you are US citizen or green card holder you can help your husband.
1) If you are a US citizen file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=c67c7f9ded54d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD) and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?...
The denial will be shown up at the consular computer. He should tell the truth for sure. To increase his chances show all ties to Italy (documents showing that he has family, property, job or other assets). A letter from an employer stating that a person has to report back to his job is always helpful.