For years it has been frustrating that spouses of those in L-1 status (L-2s) were authorized to work in the U.S. but spouses of those in H-1B status (H-4s) did not have that same privilege. It has affected how we analyze non-immigrant work options and affected L-2s whose L-1 spouse was running out of L-1 time before a priority date became current and therefore had to change to H-1B status.
That may change soon as some H-4 spouses may be eligible for work authorization in certain situations.
There are rumblings that CIS may be finalizing a rule that will allow work authorization for H-4s if their H-1B spouse has an approved I-140 process and has extended their H-1B status beyond six years under AC21 because of the current green card backlog problem.
We will have to see if this becomes a reality.