The issue was improperly handled by airline supervisors. This did not necessitate a report to the FAA. Ultimately, the pilots did de-ice which was the right thing to do. Had the Chief Pilot been involved the entire issue could have been properly handled "in-house". The actions of the flight crew and supervisors not only put the company in a bad light, but results in the company backing the pilot -- no mystery there. That said, if the contract called for the company to cover the flight attendants' legal costs the company should fulfill the contract. The flight attendants need to file suit against the airline for breach of contract. However, they may as well say goodbye to their career progression. (just being real) Although it may seem big, the airline industry is actually small. Once your name is "mud" its nearly impossible to recover.